By David Gold

Ice sledge_hockey_final_preview_1_March_30March 30 - South Korea and the United States will meet in the final of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships in Hamar, Norway, on Sunday (April 1).

Defending champions the US narrowly defeated rivals Nothern American rivals Canada 2-1 in a semi-final tie billed as a clash between the two tournament favourites.

Taylor Chace scored the first goal early on for the US with Taylor Lipsett striking a second just minutes later.

Canada tried to fight back but found it difficult to break through the US rearguard until Adam Dixon breached the Americans' goal.

Despite finishing the game having had 16 shots to the US' six, Canada could not find the equaliser.

"Everyone knows that we have won two titles in a row – the 2009 World Championships and the Vancouver Paralympic gold medal – so for me it is huge because I am captain of this team," Chace said.

"We made a good effort as a group and we took care of the little things.

"We won when it counted."

The US will now seek to retain their world title against South Korea on Sunday after the Asian nation beat the Czechs 2-0 in the other last-four tie.

South Korea has made a habit of scoring early in the Norway-based tournament and did so again when Seung Hwan Jung found the net.

Young Min Lee then latched onto Hae Man Lee's pass to make it 2-0 and South Korea proceeded to dominate its opponents on the way to an ultimately comfortable win.

The closest the previously undefeated Czechs came to scoring was when Michal Geier narrowly missed a penalty shot late in the game.

The Koreans managed to register three times as many shots as their opponents and will now pick up at least a silver medal – marking the nation's first-ever podium finish at a World Championships or Paralympic Games.

Ice sledge_hockey_final_preview_2_March_30
Having endured a miserable tournament to date, Norway went some way to redeeming itself with a 4-0 win over Japan to retain their A Pool place and place at the next World Championships.

Helge Bjornstad scored twice while Morten Vaernes added another as the host nation took a commanding 3-0 lead.

There was no way back for Japan and Loyd Remi Solberg scored the fourth to emphasise the Scandinavians' superiority and consign their opponents to the B Pool for next season.

"We were fighting not to go to the B Pool," Vaernes said afterwards.

"It was not in our expectations – we were looking for a medal.

"But with the way it turned out, we stepped up our play today for sure."

European champions Italy also stayed in the A Pool after beating Estonia 1-0 – ensuring its opponents failed to register a single win at the championships.

Bruno Balossetti scored the only goal in a dominant performance from the Italians who will now face Norway for fifth place on March 31 after Japan and Estonia do battle to restore some pride for seventh spot.

Earlier on Sunday, Canada and the Czech Republic will cross swords for the bronze medal as a curtain-raiser to the US-South Korea showpiece finale.

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