01/20/2016 22:05 EST | Updated 01/20/2017 00:12 EST

Dixon scores winner, Canada beats United States at world sledge hockey challenge

BRIDGEWATER, N.S. — When Adam Dixon was given a second chance, he knew it had to count.

Dixon was already stopped once in the shootout by American goaltender Steve Cash, but his coach Ken Babey went back to him in the fifth round and he made no mistake, scoring the winner to lift Canada over the United States 3-2 on Wednesday in preliminary-round play at the world sledge hockey challenge.

"I was a little bit surprised, I didn't think he was going to go back to me, but I was appreciative of that," said Dixon. "It was great to know he trusts me and thought I had an opportunity to help us win the game, I was glad I was able to put it in."

Dixon also scored in regulation to put Canada (3-0-0) ahead 2-1 in the second period, with Billy Bridges opening the scoring for the Canadian squad just 41 seconds into the contest.

Kevin McKee and Paul Schaus responded for the United States (2-0-1).

Canada took the win in large part to its goaltender Corbin Watson, who made 26 saves through regulation and overtime and another four in the shootout.

"No doubt we wouldn't win without him, he's a great goalie and almost doesn't get the props he deserves," said Dixon. "You saw today when push comes to shove, Corbin sure showed he wants to be the best goalie in the world."

Cash made 11 stops for the U.S., which handed Canada a semifinal loss in the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games and a round-robin defeat at the 2015 world sledge hockey challenge — making this victory all the more important.

"We haven't been winning, I'll tell ya that," said Dixon. "It's great for us. We've been working on a new system. We didn't do 100 per cent with it, but it was great to see some success. We'll tweak a few things, get it right and it'll help us through the tournament and the rest of the year.

Canada will now face South Korea in the semifinals on Thursday while the U.S. meets Russia.

The Canadians beat the South Koreans 2-0 earlier in the week and expect them to come out strong.

"We can't take any opponent lightly," said Dixon. "We'll have a better game, it was much closer than it should have been (on Monday), and we'll make sure we're better tomorrow."


The Canadian Press