Today is the first tournament-wide off-day here at the 2019 Para Ice Hockey World Championship. All eight teams competing have practice times ahead of tomorrow's final day of preliminary-round action.
Team USA will have breakfast and lunch as a team at the hotel before heading to Ostravar Arena for practice from 3:15-4:15 p.m. local time. Following practice, the team will visit a nearby restaurant for dinner before players attend a nearby theater to see Avengers: Endgame. The movie trip comes one night after the latest episode of Game of Thrones, a popular topic amongst the players.
Tomorrow (April 30), the United States (2-0-0-0/W-OTW-OTL-L) will close Group A play against Norway (0-0-0-2/W-OTW-OTL-L). The tilt will be the ninth world championship meeting between the two teams, both of which have claimed four wins apiece. Two of their meetings came in gold-medal games, with Norway winning the first tilt in 2004 (2-1 score) and Team USA edging Norway in 2009 by a 1-0 count.
POTENTIAL SEMIFINAL OPTIONS
With the U.S. having secured top seed in Group A, the team has earned a quarterfinal bye and automatic spot in Friday's (May 3) semifinals. There, Team USA will meet the winner of the Group B 1st Seed vs. Group A 4th Seed quarterfinal tilt. Currently, that quarterfinal would be Czech Republic (Group B 1) vs. Norway (Group A 4). The Group B first seed will be decided tomorrow, when the group's two undefeated teams, host Czech Republic and Italy, will face off.
U.S. AMONG TOURNAMENT'S BEST
Through two days of competition, Declan Farmer leads the tournament in faceoff efficiency (68.42%), shares the tournament lead in goals (3) and ranks seventh in points (4); Josh Pauls is tied for third in assists (3) and ranks tied for fourth in defensemen scoring (3); and Team USA's goaltenders Jen Lee and Steve Cash sit atop the goaltender statistics as Lee has a perfect 1.00 save percentage and 0.00 goals against average while Cash is fourth with a .909 save percentage and second with 1.00 goals against average.
PAULS TIES MCKEE'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RECORD
With his three assists yesterday, captain Josh Pauls now has 15 assists through his world championship playing career to tie teammate Kevin McKee for the U.S. record. Also among the Top 5 in career assists are teammates Brody Roybal (14) and Declan Farmer (12). Pauls' three points also push him into second all-time among U.S. world championship point-getters with 26 career points. Farmer leads the way with 37 points while Roybal is third with 25 points. For a look at Team USA's records entering the 2019 Para Ice Hockey World Championship, click here.