Liam Hickey of St. John’s and his Canadian teammates haven’t had a whole lot of recent success against the United States at the World Sledge Hockey Challenge, but be will be looking to change that trend when they take on the Americans Saturday in the gold-medal final of the four-country event in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Canada has won three of its four games in the tourney, including an 8-0 shutout of South Korea in a Thursday semifinal.
The 19-year-old Hickey scored three times and added an assist in that contest, giving him seven points (4G, 3A) in four games this week,
The Canadian win Thursday set up today’s matchup against the Americans, who toppled Italy 5-1 for their spot in the final.
The U.S. is unbeaten in four games in Charlottetown, including a 5-2 round-robin decision over Canada.
The Americans also downed the Canadians —with Hickey in the lineup — in last year's final in Charlottetown for its third straight Challenge tournament title.
“I like the way we played,” Canadian head coach Ken Babey told the Canadian Press after Thursday’s win over the Koreans.
“I thought it was good to get some offence, but more importantly, we didn't allow any goals. We want to clean up our defensive structure in preparation for the gold-medal game against the U.S.
“Our plan is to get off to a better start, play our game and play at a high pace as much as we can and try to shut down their speed.”