CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla) tallied three points (2-1) and Team USA scored four special-teams goals as the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team defeated Korea, 4-0, here today in the opening game of the 2016 (Dec.) World Sled Hockey Challenge at MacLauchlan Arena.
“It’s always great to start the season off with a win,” said Jeff Sauer, head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. “We look forward to getting back on the ice tomorrow against Norway.”
Nikko Landeros (Johnstown, Colo.) opened the scoring 6:02 into the first period by converting on Team USA’s first power play opportunity of the tournament. With 54 seconds remaining on the man-advantage, Landeros collected a feed by Farmer in front of the Korean goal and fired the puck past Korea netminder Jae-Woong Lee.
The U.S. doubled its lead with just 22 seconds remaining in the opening period thanks to a shorthanded goal by Farmer. The play started when Farmer forced a turnover in the Korean zone, skated in alone and shot the puck just below the crossbar for the score.
Adam Page (Lancaster, N.Y.) netted Team USA’s second power play tally of the game when he found his own rebound to extend the lead to 3-0 at 3:56 of the middle stanza.
Farmer tallied his second goal of the game, the third U.S. power-play marker, with 3:20 left in the period to give Team USA a 4-0 lead heading into the second intermission.
Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) finished with seven saves through 40 minutes of play before Bo Reichenbach (Billings, Mont.) entered the game for the final five minutes and kept Korea scoreless to account for the 4-0 U.S. win.
The United States continues preliminary round action tomorrow against Norway. Puck drop is set for 11 a.m. ET and can the game can be seen live on HockeyTV.com.
NOTES: Nikko Landeros was named U.S. Player of the Game … Team USA outshot Korea, 23-7, finished 3-for-5 on the power play and a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill … Follow all U.S. games during the World Sled Hockey Challenge on Twitter @USAHockey and @USAHockeyScores, and join the conversation by using the hashtag #WSHC.
The United States faces Korea at 11 a.m. ET at MacLauchlan Arena (capacity: 1,350) to open preliminary round play at the 2016 (Dec.) World Sled Hockey Challenge. The game will be streamed live on HockeyTV.com, in addition to being updated live on Twitter @USAHockeyScores.
USA VS. KOREA
Team USA holds a 11-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record all-time against Korea. The two teams last met in the opening game of the 2016 (Jan.) World Sled Hockey Challenge, with the U.S. earning an 8-1 victory. Declan Farmer netted a hat trick and was named U.S. Player of the Game, while Josh Pauls recorded four points (2-2).
Defenseman Andy Yohe returns to captain Team USA for the third time in seven campaigns. Yohe most recently captained the U.S. to a gold medal at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Fellow rearguards Nikko Landeros and Josh Pauls also return as alternate captains for the third consecutive season.
A PAIR OF DEBUTS
Forward Noah Grove and defenseman Jack Wallace are making their debut with the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team in tomorrow’s matchup against Korea. Wallace had been a member of the U.S. Development Sled Hockey Team since 2013, while Grove began skating with the Development Team in 2014. Grove (17) is the youngest player on the team, and Wallace is one of two 18-year-olds on the roster (Brody Roybal).