By David Gold

World Ice_Sledge_Hockey_final_-_Taylor_Lipsett_April_2April 1 - Hat-trick hero Taylor Lipsett proved the inspiration as the United States retained its International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Ice Sledge Hockey title in Hamar, Norway.

Lipsett's three-goal salvo helped the Americans strike gold as first-time finalist South Korea was crushed 5-1.

The Koreans were never really in the contest after Josh Pauls scored inside only three minutes before Lipsett (pictured left) added two quick-fire goals just before the halfway mark.

Alexi Salamone grabbed a fourth and although Jong-Kyung Lee scored a consolation for the Koreans, Lipsett wrapped up the triumph with a late third goal.

Salamone and US teammates Taylor Chace and Steve Cash were named in the all-tournament team along with South Korea's Jung Seung Hwan and Canadian duo Adam Dixon and Billy Bridges.

The gold medal confirmed the US' status as the world's dominant nation, the nation having secured ice sledge hockey's last three major titles: the 2012 and 2009 world titles plus the 2010 Winter Olympic crown.

"It is unbelievable," Salamone said afterwards.

"Winning in Vancouver [at the Winter 2010 Olympics] was one of the greatest things, and here in Norway we dominated as a team once again."

"We did not expect this result," added South Korea's Jung Seung Hwan, before reflecting that his team had made good progress during the tournament.

"It was meaningful, for me personally as well as for the development of ice sledge hockey in Korea."

Greg Westlake_and_Brad_Bowden_02-04-12
Canada claimed the bronze medal after comfortably defeating the Czech Republic 2-0.

Greg Westlake (pictured left) scored early on to give the two-times world champions the lead before Brad Bowden (right) added a second goal to secure the spoils.

The victory earned Canada its fifth medal from the last six World Championships.

"We actually pulled it together," Bowden said.

"We had a tough loss from the US there and it was kind of hard to bounce back from that, but we had to pull our socks up and finish with a medal.

"Bronze was not necessarily what we came here for but we are proud of what we achieved today.

"We just tried to battle to bring home some kind of hardware for our country."

Hosts Norway finished a disappointing tournament on a high by crushing European champions Italy 5-0 for fifth place, while seventh spot went to Japan after it thrashed Estonia 5-0.

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