By David Gold

CanadaIceSledgeHockey March23March 23 - Canada's squad have spent two days in an Ice Sledge Hockey clinic with soldiers based at a base in Borden, Ontario, ahead of the World Championships in Hamar, Norway.

The World Championships begin on Saturday and run until April 1, with Canada competing alongside Italy, South Korea and hosts Norway in what is likely to be a closely fought group.

The other group pits the holders, the United States, with Japan, Czech Republic and Estonia.

The two times World Champions took part in the clinic as part of the Canadian Forces "Soldier On" initiative, which encourages injured and ill personnel to maintain healthy and active lifestyles.

"We've been building towards this event since the 2010 Paralympics ended, and we're excited to get to Norway and get the world championship started," coach Mike Mondin told

"Our players relish the opportunity to wear the Team Canada jersey, and I have no doubt they'll do Canadians proud on the ice in Hamar."

At the last tournament in 2009, Canada also faced the hosts in the group stage, but emerged clinching the bronze medal ahead of Japan.

They have added reason for optimism now as they beat reigning US champions twice on their home soil in Buffalo recently during a three game exhibition series.

Italy will be Canada's first opponents as they look to go one better and at least reach the final this week, when they play each other on Sunday.

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