Canada wins gold at world para-hockey championship

Canada's national para-hockey team avenged their preliminary-round loss to the U.S. by defeating the Americans 4-1 in the gold-medal game in Gangneung, South Korea on Thursday. 

Brad Bowden opened the scoring for Canada in the first period and added two assists, while Tyler McGregor scored twice in the game, giving him a tournament co-leading 12 goals.

'An incredible experience'

Canadian goaltender Dominic Larocque came through with a solid performance by stopping 12 of 13 shots.

"This is an incredible experience," said Larocque. "To be able to go for gold in the final against the United States has been my dream for the last three years. And to have a chance to bring back gold as a world champion for the second time makes me so proud."

Billy Bridges contributed three assists to the Canadian effort, including an assist on a first-period goal by Liam Hickey that put Canada up 2-0 early in the game. 

Steve Cash allowed four goals on 17 shots for the Americans, and was unable to keep the Canadian offensive attack at bay like he did in their 2-1 preliminary-round victory over Canada. 

Adam Dixon of Midland, Ont., was named the tournament's best defenceman with 18 points in seven games.

The gold medal win gives Canada its fourth world title, after topping the podium in 2000, 2008 and 2013. Canada's last para-hockey championship was also won in South Korea, when it defeated the U.S. for gold four years ago in Goyang. 

"This is an outstanding group of young men, and I'm very proud of our team," said head coach Ken Babey. "We played smart, fast and unselfish — the Canadian way. We took hits to make plays and stuck to the game plan."