The final preliminary matches at the World Para Ice Hockey World Championship in Gangeung have taken place and settled the medal places. It will be a familiar look to the championship game as Canada takes on the United States while for bronze the hosts, Korea Republic will take on Norway for bronze.
By finding places in the medal rounds at the World Championships those four teams have all qualified for the event at the 2018 Paralympic Games at the same venue next year. The final place in PyeongChang will go to the fifth place finisher, which will be the winner of the game between Italy and Sweden.
The first match on Thursday was the one which decided the final place in the medal rounds with Norway needing a win. Norway just got the job done as they managed a 1-0 win over Italy to qualify for the Bronze medal game for the second championship in a row.
It was a tight start to the match game with neither team able to get a goal in the first 15 minutes with Norway looking the stronger side throughout the first period, forcing the goalie in to making seven saves but that was enough to keep them out.
But in the second period the goal came as Jan Roger Klakegg gave his side the lead as he put away Knut Andrew Nordstoga’s pass. In a period with a whole host of penalties momentum was hard to come by, but now with the lead Norway were fine with that.
There were four penalties to the Italians in the third period which really put an end to their hopes of a comeback and sent Norway to the bronze medal game yet again.
The United States continued their phenomenal tournament as they defeated the hosts, Korea Republic 5-0 to finish the group stages with a perfect record.
Brody Roybal was the star of the game as he was able to score two goals, bringing his tournament total to five. The other notable goalscorer was Jack Wallace as he scored his first international goal capping a good tournament for Wallace.
Just two minutes in to the game Roybal was able to score the first goal of the game as the Americans took advantage of a power play. Five minutes to play in the first Declan Farmer was able to make it two as his powerful shot from way out got through all the defense to score. There was a third in the period less than one minute later as Luke McDermott was left alone at the top of the crease for a simple goal.
The second period was much tighter with just one goal which came in the 13th minute of the period with a short-handed goal. Farmer sent the puck in to Roybal who was on the breakaway and he made no mistake, sending it past the goalie.
Wallace’s first international goal rounded out the game as he was able to score his goal early in the third period. Landeros nearly had his second just 90 seconds in but it was saved, only for the rebound to be sent home by Wallace for the 5-0 win.
Canada took momentum in to their gold medal game as they managed a big 9-0 victory over Germany in another strong performance.
There were two goals in the first period both from Tyler McGregor and both coming off a power-play as he scored seven minutes and nine minutes in to the game. He wrapped up his hat-trick in the second as he put away Greg Westlake’s pass to make it three. There were two more goals in the second as Dominic Cozzolino and Adam Dixon scored to make it five at the second intermission.
Cozzolino scored his second to start the third period as he scored just 35 seconds in as he was assisted by Ben Delaney, who played ice hockey prior to his impairment. Three goals were added in the last five minutes as Corbyn Smith scored twice before Bryan Sholomicki making it a 9-0 win.