Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) made 14 saves and Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) scored a powerplay goal, but the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team fell to Canada, 2-1, here tonight at the 2016 IPC Sled Hockey Pan-Pacific Championship.
"We lacked chemistry tonight," said Jeff Sauer, head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. "The fortunate thing is we weren't at our best and it was still almost enough. We'll respond as we always do and look forward to the next game."
The U.S. opened the scoring 6:05 into the opening period with a powerplay goal from Farmer. After a trio of chances, Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.J.) collected the puck at the blue line and found Farmer at the top left circle where he circled back and fired a left-handed wrist shot that beat Canada’s goaltender, Corbin Watson.
The U.S. nearly made it 2-0 with four minutes remaining when Kevin McKee (Chicago, Ill.) and Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) had back-to-back opportunities turned aside.
Canada leveled the score on a powerplay goal of its own late in the period. With 10 seconds remaining on the powerplay, Cash made a sprawling blocker save but saw the puck bounce in the crease where Greg Westlake was able to flick the rebound in to knot the score, 1-1.
After a scoreless middle frame, the U.S. nearly took the lead with an early five-on-three man-advantage in the final stanza but were unable to convert.
With 5:33 remaining in the period, Canada’s Tyler McGregor found a loose puck at the right circle that beat Cash high blocker side. The U.S. pulled Cash in the final minute of play but were unable to convert with the extra skater.
The U.S. National Sled Hockey Team returns to action Friday (April 1) against Korea at 7 p.m. ET. Tickets are $5 and available either at the door or online at harborcenter.com. Additionally, the game will be streamed live at paralympic.org/buffalo-2016.
NOTES: Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) was named the U.S. Player of the Game ... For complete game statistics, click here ... For more tournament information, including live stats and photos, click here ... To get additional information on the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team, click here ... Follow all U.S. games during the IPC Sled Hockey Pan-Pacific Championship via Twitter by using @USAHockey and @USAHockeyScores, and join the conversation by using the hashtag #Buffalo2016 ... Dan Brennan (Colorado Springs, Colo.), director of sled and inline national teams for USA Hockey, is serving as the general manager of the 2016 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team ... Jeff Sauer (Madison, Wis.), former men's ice hockey head coach at the University of Wisconsin, is in his fifth season as head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. Additional staff members include team physician Mike Uihlein (Grafton, Wis.), athletic trainer Mike Cortese (Boynton Beach, Fla.) and equipment manager Joel Isaacson (Houghton, Mich.).