By Emily Goddard

canada u18 ice hockey worldsApril 28 - Canada has brought the Sochi 2014 test event season to a close by ending four years of American dominance over the under-18 men's ice hockey world title with a 3-2 victory at the Bolshoy Ice Dome.

Despite the United States leading 2-1 at the midway point of the game having outshot the Canadians for all three periods 35-12, Frederik Gauthier's second-period goal stood as the winner as Canada rallied past the US to win the Ice Hockey Under-18 World Championship match.

Laurent Dauphin and Madison Bowey also scored for Canada, with Nick Baptiste having a pair of assists, and Philippe Desrosiers stopped 33 shots in Canada's net - but could not stop goals from Connor Clifton and Mike McCarron - for the win.

"The US are defending champions and they have been in this tournament for four years," said Canada's assistant coach Jody Hull.

"I think we were a bit nervous at the beginning and we weren't able to get out of it but we stuck with it, we stayed with what our focus was and stayed on the process.

"When we got opportunities we seemed to capitalise on them and our goaltender played great early to keep us in the game.

"That's what it's all about - a solid team effort from top to bottom."

The game at the Bolshoy Ice Dome was the latest of 20 international test events to be held at 10 different venues for Sochi 2014, and Hull praised the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games ice hockey arena.

canada u18 ice hockey worlds1The Ice Hockey Under-18 World Championship took place at the Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi

"This is an awesome facility," he explained.

"It's massive.

"It's just like an NHL rink back home.

"Maybe not so much with the seating, but the amenities, how they've set it up underneath for easy access for the athletes.

"The dressing rooms are big and very convenient to manoeuvre around.

"It's a beautiful arena.

"It's a spectacular thing when you drive up, especially at night when the roof's all lit up in different colours.

"It's quite the building."

The 2012-2013 season saw test events completed in 15 Olympic disciplines of biathlon, bobsleigh, skeleton, curling, ice hockey, luge, figure skating, short track, speed skating, snowboard, freestyle skiing, alpine skiing, cross country skiing, Nordic combined and ski jumping, while events were also held for four of the five Paralympic sports - biathlon, cross country skiing, alpine skiing including Para-snowboarding and wheelchair curling.

The season, which was supported by Sochi 2014 Partners Coca-Cola, GE, Ingosstrakh and PwC, set a new record in terms of the number of people involved, with more than 3,000 competitors, approximately 5,000 volunteers, over 1,500 media representatives and roughly 130,000 spectators visiting the venues in Russia over the last six months.

Bolshoy Ice Dome 290413The Bolshoy Ice Dome was described as "awesome" by Canada's assistant coach Jody Hull

"The third season of the pre-Olympic test events programme, the biggest in the history of the Winter Games, is coming to a close," Sochi 2014 President and chief executive Dmitry Chernyshenko said.

"It comprised over 70 international and national competitions in all of the Olympic and Paralympic sports.

"We are very pleased with results.

"The test competitions have passed successfully, which was proved by positive feedback from many athletes, coaches, international federations' representatives, IOC (International Olympic Committee), IPC (International Paralympic Committee) and spectators.

"We have efficiently overcome all the trials and can now say with confidence that we are ready to host the Games even in the most challenging conditions.

"The test events were organised by a large team, and I would like to thank everyone who took part in hosting them: Organising Committee, Olympstroy, Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation, administrations of the Krasnodar region and the city of Sochi, contractors and of course our numerous volunteers who have become an integral part of our united team."

The next Sochi 2014 test event is due be the International Four Nations Ice Sledge Hockey Tournament, which will take place in the region between August 25 and September 2, 2013.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]ames.biz


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