BRIDGEWATER, Nova Scotia – Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) recorded four points (two goals, two assists), while Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) and Jack Wallace (Franklin Lakes, N.J.) both added three points each, as the U.S. National Sled Team topped Italy, 9-2, here today in its second preliminary round game of the Para Hockey Cup at Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre.
“They were able to clog the front of the net really well in the first period, and it made it difficult to score,” said David Hoff (Bottineau, N.D.), head coach of the U.S. National Sled Team, “I thought we did a good job of sticking with it, which allowed the game to open up in the second and we were able to get the win.”
Following intense offensive pressure throughout the first, the U.S opened the scoring when Wallace collected the puck in the slot and fired a powerplay goal into the top right corner with 4:07 remaining in the period. Just over two minutes later, David Eustace (Haverhill, Mass.) redirected a shot from Joseph Woodke (Nashville, Tenn.) to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead heading into the second period.
While on a powerplay to begin the middle frame, Josh Misiewicz (La Grange, Ill.) found Farmer out in front, who fired a one-time shot that extended the U.S. lead to 3-0 just 50 seconds into the period. Moments later, at 1:59, Wallace fed Evan Nichols (Haymarket, Va.) with a backdoor pass that Nichols batted home to extend the U.S. lead to 4-0. Ben Musselman (Amelia, Ohio) picked up his second goal of the tournament with a shot from the high slot 3:07 into the stanza, putting the U.S. up 5-0.
With just over eight minutes remaining in the second, Farmer forced a turnover in the offensive zone and wristed his second goal of the game past the netminder.
At 9:50, Woodke assisted Roybal to extend the advantage to 6-0, and 10 seconds later Roybal scored his second of the game, cutting through the offensive zone directly off the faceoff and burying the puck short side.
Kevin McKee (Davenport, Iowa) then picked up his second tally of the tournament, and Team USA’s seventh of the period, in the closing minutes of the second after gathering his own rebound and creating a chance that put the U.S. up 9-0.
Italy broke the shutout with just under five minutes remaining in the third period, scoring on a powerplay goal for their first tally of the tournament. Moments later, Italy scored their second of the game, cutting the U.S. lead to 9-2.
Goaltender Griffin LaMarre (Haverhill, Mass.) picked up a win in his first game of the tournament, playing all 45:00 minutes of action.
The U.S. will take on Canada Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. ET. The full U.S. event schedule, along with live streaming links, is available here.
NOTES: Brody Roybal was named U.S. Player of the Game … The U.S. outshot Italy 25-6 … The U.S. was 2-2 on the power play, while Italy was 1-1.