NEWS
03/29/2012 02:05 EDT | Updated 05/29/2012 05:12 EDT

U.S. team beats Canada 2-1 in world sledge hockey semifinal in Norway

HAMAR, Norway - Canada won't be bringing home gold from the world sledge hockey championships after a 2-1 loss to the U.S. in Thursday's semifinal.

Taylor Chace scored for the U.S. at 9:48 in the first and Taylor Lipsett made it 2-0 at 14:50 of the same period.

Adam Dixon scored Canada's lone goal in the third.

Despite outhshooting the Americans 16-6, the Canadians were forced to play catch up after going down two goals early.

"We've had slow starts all tournament and that's something we've got to get away from for sure," Dixon said after the loss.

Canada came into the game undefeated but didn't get the bounces when needed Thursday. They threw seven shots at U.S. netminder Steve Cash in the third when the Americans didn't even get one away.

"We threw a lot of rubber at him," said Canada coach Mike Mondin. "The guys certainly worked very, very hard and they gave it everything they had."

Canada and the United States have always been powerhouses in sledge hockey.

But Mondin also said the overall level of play has improved a lot at the competition.

"It definitely has. You've got Korea now playing in the gold medal and you've got three teams two days ago playing for their lives just to stay in the eight pool, one of them being the U.S., and they were the three teams who won medals in Vancouver."

The U.S. will now meet South Korea in Sunday's final in Hamar. Canada will meet the Czech Republic in the third-place game earlier in the day.

U.S. coach Jeff Sauer said they stuck to their game plan. Not surprisingly, Cash was named the U.S. player of the game.

"We played really strong defensively, especially in the last five minutes of the game," said Sauer.

"It was our goal to play for a gold medal and now that's what we're doing."

Canada's penalty killing kept them in the game in the scoreless second but penalties also kept their offence in low gear.

They started with one for too many men on the ice at the 1:26 mark.

About seven minutes later Graeme Murray was handed a 10 minute-misconduct and a double minor for butt-ending.

The third was shaping up to be a replay of the second until Dixon scored shortly after leaving the penalty box at 8:51.

"It's hard to gain momentum in a game when you're killing penalties and obviously we killed a lot of momentum," said Dixon. "The bench minor there for too many men, that's just attention to detail."

Their next chore is to get themselves up for the game against the Czech Republic, but Mondin said they want to leave Norway with a medal.

"We're going to approach it like everything we do. We're going to be very professional in our preparations and we're going to be ready on Sunday."

With the rest of the world catching up at sledge hockey, Dixon says it's time Canada proved why they're the favourites.

"I still think we were the best team at this tournament, we've just got to come through when it counts."