PAULS SCORES OT WINNER (AGAIN), U.S. DEFENDS WSHC GOLD
BRIDGEWATER, N.S. – Josh Pauls was the golden-goal-getter in overtime for the second year in a row, netting the game-winner 7:31 into the extra period to give the United States a 3-2 win over Canada in the final Saturday at the 2016 World Sledge Hockey Challenge.
It’s the second year in a row the Americans have won gold, and keeps them in possession of the three biggest titles in sledge hockey – the World Sledge Hockey Challenge, IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship, and Paralympic Winter Games.
With the U.S. swarming the Canadian net – holding a massive 10-0 advantage in shots on goal in overtime – Pauls took a pass in the slot from Declan Farmer, made a quick move and roofed a shot over the blocker of Canadian goaltender Corbin Watson (Kingsville, Ont.).
Farmer and Brody Roybal, had a goal and two assists each in the win, and finished one-two in tournament scoring with 12 points and 11 points, respectively, in five games.
Brad Bowden (Orton, Ont.) and Ben Delaney (Ottawa, Ont.) had the goals for Canada, which trailed 2-0 after two periods, but pulled even before the five-minute mark of the final frame.
The Americans got off to a red-hot start, striking twice in the opening period while outshooting Canada 10-2.
Roybal started the scoring at 5:11, beating Watson from the slot, and he set up Farmer’s power play goal at 13:35 to send the Americans to the dressing room up by a pair.
Canada turned the tide in a scoreless second period, outshooting the U.S. 8-2, but it failed to convert on its only power play opportunity of the game and headed to the third still training by two.
Needing a quick start to the final period, Bowden knocked in the rebound of his own shot with just 65 seconds off the clock, and Delaney took a pass from Adam Dixon (Midland, Ont.) and went under his sled before tucking the puck around U.S. goaltender Steve Cash at 4:03 to tie the game.
The Canadians held an 18-16 advantage in shots on goal through regulation, but the play stayed in the defensive zone for almost the entirety of overtime before Pauls’ winner.
Canada has won a medal at all nine editions of the World Sledge Hockey Challenge, earning five gold, three silver, and a bronze, while the Americans have four gold, two silver, and three bronze in their nine trips.