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Gameday: U.S. Meets Norway to Close Prelims in Ostrava

By, 04/30/19, 5:30AM EDT


U.S. seeks third-straight win at 2019 Para Ice Hockey World Championship

The United States closes preliminary-round play at 2019 Para Ice Hockey World Championship today against Norway. Puck drop at Ostravar Arena is set for 4:30 p.m. local time (10:30 a.m. ET) and will be broadcast live in the U.S. on the Olympic Channel.

This is the ninth world championship meeting between the two teams. After Norway won the first four meetings, the U.S. has claimed the last four tilts. Two of the meetings have come in gold-medal games, with Norway winning in 2004 (2-1) before the U.S. won here in Ostrava in 2009 (1-0).

Including both Paralympic and World Championship play, this is the 13th meeting between the two teams. The most recent meeting came at the 2017 Para Ice Hockey World Championship where Declan Farmer and Brody Roybal each scored three goals to lead the U.S. to a 6-0 preliminary-round win. Current U.S. players Jack Wallace and Kevin McKee each registered an assist while Steve Cash denied all nine shots he faced to secure the shutout.

In 2009, the world championship took place in Ostrava and saw the United States meet Norway in the gold-medal game. There, the back-and-forth affair came to a decisive end with 11 seconds to play in regulation when Taylor Chace passed the puck to Andy Yohe who tallied the game's only goal to give the United States its first-ever world championship title. 

Team USA arrived in Ostrava last Wednesday (April 23). Since its arrival, the team has held three practices and claimed wins over Canada (3-1) and South Korea (4-0) for a perfect 2-0 record. Last night, the team visited Masaryk Square for a team dinner before several players attending a local screening of Avengers: Endgame.

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 (.909 SV%) and second (1.00 GAA) in those categories.

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 more U.S. tournament history entering this year's world championship, see page 5.

Following tonight's games, the tournament will enter a pair of off days before Friday's semifinal tilt. There, Team USA will meet the winner of the Group B 1 Seed vs. Group A 4 Seed quarterfinal. Currently, that game 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.

Date Opponent Result U.S. Player of the Game Venue Broadcast
April 27 Canada W, 3-1 Noah Grove Ostravar Arena Olympic Channel - Live
April 28 South Korea W, 4-0 Josh Pauls Ostravar Arena Olympic Channel - Live
April 30 Norway W, 10-0 Luke McDermott Ostravar Arena Olympic Channel - Live
May 3 Czech Republic
W, 10-2 Jack Wallace Ostravar Arena Olympic Channel - Live
May 4 Canada
Gold-Medal Game
OTW, 3-2 Declan Farmer Ostravar Arena Olympic Channel - Live
NBCSN (5:30 p.m. ET)

Team USA Roster

2019 - Ostrava, Czech Republic

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