MOOSE JAW, Sask. – The United States scored two shorthanded goals on route to a 6-1 victory over Canada in the gold medal game Sunday at the 2023 World Para Ice Hockey Championships.
It was the sixth straight worlds that Canada and the U.S. met for gold and the Americans have claimed the last three titles. The Canadians last took gold in 2017 and were also silver medalists in 2019 and 2021.
‘’The focus of our entire season has been about growth,’’ said Canadian team captain Tyler McGregor. ‘’The result is heartbreaking but every single person in that room, with the investment they made through the season to get better every day, is leaving here with a lot of pride.’’
The U.S. scored twice in both the first and second periods to grab a 4-0 lead. Buoyed by an unflinching home crowd that maintained the ‘Go Canada Go’ chants despite the score, McGregor put Canada on the board early in the third. He was named Canada’s player of the game.
However, the Americans bounced back quickly to put the game out of reach for the rebuilding Canadian squad which had six first-time world team members.
‘’We are just at a different stage in our development’’ said Canada’s head coach Russ Herrington. ‘’It’s a long arduous journey and we feel we’ve accelerated the process a little bit here.’’
Declan Farmer led the U.S. with two goals including a crucial shorthanded marker at the end of the first period which put the Americans ahead 2-0.
‘’We say be hard to play against and that means possess the puck as much as we can,’’ said U.S. head coach David Hoff. “A couple of times Canada got loose on us, but we always had two-three sleds coming back to make it hard for them to get to the net.’’
In the bronze medal game, Czechia reached the podium for the first time at a Para hockey world championship with a 3-2 win over China.
The Moose Jaw organizing committee was lauded for its organization of the tournament.
‘’They knocked it out of the park here, and the next host will have big shoes to fill,’’ said Herrington.
The next worlds are in 2025 with a location to be determined.