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Jan. 23, 2016

BRIDGEWATER, Nova Scotia. – Canada’s National Sledge Team has won the silver medal at the 2016 World Sledge Hockey Challenge, losing to the United States 3-2 in overtime Saturday evening at the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre.

In the tournament’s nine-year history, Canada has now won five gold medals, three silvers and one bronze.

Team Canada trailed 2-0 heading into the third frame when Brad Bowden (Orton, Ont.) and Ben Delaney (Ottawa) scored one goal apiece in the third period to force the game into OT. American defenseman Josh Pauls broke a 2-2 tie in the middle of overtime, scoring the winning goal with a shot from the slot. It is the fourth time the U.S. has won gold at the tournament (2009, 2012, 2015, 2016).

“A loss is always tough, especially in overtime in a gold-medal game, but we gave everything and the effort was there. We know we can beat them, we proved it earlier this week,” said Delaney. “This is how we will develop.”

Earlier on Saturday, Korea won their first-ever game in tournament history, beating Russia 4-2 to take home the bronze medal.

Success at the 2016 World Sledge Hockey Challenge wasn’t limited to the on-ice action; close to 10,000 fans came out to cheer on the four participating teams, with near capacity crowds attending the semifinal, bronze-and gold-medal games. In addition, more than 1,500 students attended the international event through the local schools program. All proceeds from the event will be reinvested into the local and provincial community to benefit the growth of hockey, and of sledge hockey in particular. The event’s legacy includes more than $21,000 targeted for Lunenburg County.

“We’ve been waiting for this event for months and we can’t be any happier. Our volunteers did an amazing job making this happen, and our fans supported our players all week long” said Kevin Benjamin, general manager of the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre and co-chair of the 2016 World Sledge Hockey Challenge. “We felt fans discovered sledge hockey and they were very impressed by these amazing athletes. We are leaving a great legacy here in Nova Scotia and it encourages us to organize more events.”

The National Sledge Team will gather in Calgary next month for a training camp in advance of the Pan-Pacific Championship, being held March 27-April 3 in Buffalo, N.Y.

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