OSTRAVA, Czech Republic - Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) scored four times and added an assist, while Kevin McKee (Chicago, Ill.) had a goal and two assists to lead the U.S. National Sled Team to an 8-0 victory over the South Korea in preliminary round play at the 2021 World Para Ice Hockey Championship.
With the victory, Team USA has earned a bye into the tournament semifinals on Friday (June 25). The U.S. opponent and game time will be determined following quarterfinal play on Thursday.
“I think we’ve played seven very solid periods in a row and dominated on the ice,” said head coach David Hoff. “We’re going to spend this week working on getting better every day, because our ultimate goal is to find our best game come Saturday.”
The U.S. jumped to a 1-0 lead on the power play 6:54 into the contest when Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) skated down the slot and dished to a driving Roybal who fired the puck to the top corner of the net out of the reach of South Korean netminder Jae Woong Lee.
Nearly three minutes later, McKee rang a shot off the crossbar, but Rico Roman (Portland, Ore.) was there to collect the loose puck and found Roybal at the top of the crease, who fired the puck to the top corner from the bottom of the left circle. Mckee would get revenge on the crossbar, collecting his first goal of the tournament with 1:59 left in the period, as he fired a wrist shot from the side of the right circle that deflected off Lee and into the back of the net.
Team USA added four more goals in the second. Josh Pauls (Greenbrook, N.J.) skated down ice on the power play beside Roman, who was sprung on a backhanded dish and finished far side at 5:15. Roybal added another on a five-on-three power play, using his speed to find an opening and snap one home from between the circles at 10:56. Josh Misciewiez (La Grange, Ill.) was the recipient of a Farmer backhand pass, allowing him to tap in his first of the tournament at 13:02, before Roybal and McKee combined for the final tally of the period as McKee’s shot was partially stopped by Lee’s glove, but Roybal was there to clean up the rebound with :53 to go in the stanza.
Dodson fired one past Lee from the side of the left circle after forcing a turnover while on the penalty kill midway through the final period to account for the 8-0 final. Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) made two saves in the U.S. net to pick up his first victory of the world championship. Team USA outshot South Korea, 32-2.
NOTES: Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) was named U.S. Player of the Game … The U.S. outshot South Korea 32-2 … The U.S. went 3-for-6 on the power play, while South Korea went 0-for-2.