The 2015 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team faces Russia tonight at Leduc Recreation Centre in the championship game of the 2015 World Sled Hockey Challenge. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. ET and the game can be streamed live on FASTHockey.com.
This is the second consecutive international tournament in which the United States and Russia will face off in the championship game. Team USA defeated Russia, 1-0, in the gold medal game of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
The United States and Russia opened the 2015 World Sled Hockey Challenge against one another, with the U.S. winning, 3-2, thanks to a late third period goal from Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.). Team USA has won five of the last six meetings between the two teams, with USA outscoring Russia 13-7 over that span. Russia is the last team to defeat the United States when it came away with a 2-1 victory in preliminary round action at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.), who holds a two-game shutout streak, will get the start in goal tonight. Among tournament goalies who have played more than 15 minutes, Cash is first with a 0.56 goals-against-average and 0.947 save percentage. The Overland, Missouri native has back-stopped Team USA to two Paralympic gold medals (2010, 2014) and two World Championship titles (2009, 2012). He was also in goal for Team USA's World Sled Hockey Challenge first place finishes in 2009 and 2012.
Farmer enters the championship game with a tournament-best nine points while Nikko Landeros (Johnstown, Colo.) leads all defensemen with seven points. Farmer (3-6--9), Landeros (3-4--7) and Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) (3-2--5) have points in all four games and ten over the last two.