ELMIRA, Ont. – Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) scored the overtime game-winning goal, as Jack Wallace (Franklin Lakes, N.J.) added an assist to lift the U.S. to a 1-0 overtime victory over Canada in the Sled Series today at Woolwich Memorial Centre in Elmira, Ontario.
With the OT victory, the U.S. moves to 9-2-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) on the season.
“As much as the game was a little frustrating tonight, it was important that a lot of our younger players got the opportunity to play in adverse situations throughout the night.” said David Hoff (Bottineau, N.D.), head coach of the U.S National Sled Hockey Team. “Overall it was a good effort from our guys, and Jen Lee got the shutout.”
A scoreless first period was highlighted by several key stops from U.S. goaltender Jen Lee (San Francisco, Calif.), who made a diving blocker save on Canada forward Tyler McGregor eight minutes into the contest. Lee followed that save with another flashy glove save just seconds later to keep the game knotted at zero.
A few minutes later, at the midway mark of the opening frame, Roybal collected a rebound to the right of the crease that he rifled just wide of the net. With just over five minutes remaining, U.S. captain Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.J.) weaved through several Canadian defenders in the offensive zone, but his shot ricocheted just wide off the post.
The U.S. outshot Canada 11-2 in the second, but the game remained tied 0-0 through the middle frame. Wallace nearly broke the tie in the closing minutes of the period when he collected saucer pass from Roybal in the slot, but was shut down by a diving glove save by Canadian goaltender Dominic Larocque.
The third saw the U.S. hold Canada to zero shots on goal over 20 minutes, but once again neither team could find paydirt throughout the frame. Midway through the final period of regulation, Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) and Chris Douglas (St. Cloud, Fla.) nearly connected on an odd man rush but were denied by Larocque’s outstretched glove and the teams headed to overtime for the second time in the last three meetings between the North American rivals.
Just 42 seconds into sudden-death OT, Farmer, Wallace, and Roybal found themselves all alone skating in towards goal from the neutral zone. Roybal wristed a laser into the upper left corner from the short-side off a pass from Wallace to end the game.
Goaltender Jen Lee recorded a shutout in a full game of action.
NOTES: The U.S. outshot Canada 34-6… The U.S. was 1-6 on the power play, while Canada was 0-3… Game two of the Sled Series will take place Friday (March 17), with puck dropping at 7 p.m. ET.