After dropping the first game of the 2009 World Sledge Hockey Challenge to Canada, the men of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team won against Japan and Norway to enter the championship game and take a 3-2 win over Canada. The Challenge, which took place Nov. 14-21 in Charlottetown, P.E.I., was the first International Paralympic Committee sanctioned event of the 2009-10 season.
Six minutes into overtime Taylor Chace (Hampton Falls, N.H.) caught the puck from Bubba Torres (Riverside, N.J.) and drove it into the net past Canada goalie Paul Rosen for a shorthanded finale.
"Incredible finish to a great game," said Ray Maluta, head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. "Our effort was there throughout the night, and I thought it showed in the overtime period when we carried the play. This was a great stepping stone for us moving forward."
Thanks to outstanding play by Team USA's Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) and Canada's Rosen, the first period was scoreless despite chances from both teams.
Canada took the lead in the second period when Billy Bridges slipped one past Cash. Team USA returned the goal with a one-timer from Tim Jones (Mt.Ephraim, N.J.), the first goal scored on Canada during the Challenge.
Canada regained the lead on a goal from Gregg Westlake, beating Cash on a breakaway. With less than a minute to go in the third period, Torres slid the puck past Rosen sending the game to overtime.
With Chace's shorthanded goal, Team USA took the win and the Challenge. Cash finished the night with 11 saves, while Rosen turned aside seven.
For more news and information on the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team, visit www.usahockey.com.