After scoring the winning goal in the gold-medal game of the 2012 World Sledge Hockey Challenge, the USA’s Taylor Chace was voted by the public as the IPC’s Athlete of the Month for December.
The 26-year-old defenseman, who recorded the lone goal in the USA’s 1-0 win over Canada in the championship game of the tournament on 8 December in Calgary, received 53 per cent of the public’s vote.
With the game scoreless late into the second period, Chace’s shot along the ice from the point snuck past Canadian netminder Benoit St-Amand to give the Americans their second title in the event.
“One goal, that’s what made the difference,” Chace told USA Hockey following the Championship game of the tournament. “I just waited for that gap and I converted and just went in.
“We were only up by a goal, and that could have changed at any second … Any mistake that we made could have been capitalised on. We came out on top in this game, but it’s always a battle. Our goal was to make it into this final game – that’s always our goal at this tournament – and we just wanted to give ourselves a chance to win it.”
The only other time USA won gold at the World Sledge Hockey Challenge came in 2009 in Charlottetown, when Chace scored the overtime winner in a 3-2 gold-medal game victory over the Canadians.
Identified as one of the IPC's Ones to Watch athletes for the 2012-13 winter season, Chace will now look to build upon the victory in Calgary to help USA go for their third straight title at the IPC Ice Sledge Hockey A Pool World Championships from 12-20 April in Goyang, Korea.
But before that, Chace will compete in the USA Sled Hockey Cup from 23-26 January in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.
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