ELMIRA, Ont. – Jack Wallace (Franklin Lakes, N.J.) and Evan Nichols (Haymarket, Va.) each tallied a goal to lift the U.S. to a 2-1 victory in game three of the Sled Series today at Woolwich Memorial Centre in Elmira, Ontario.
With the win, the U.S. moves to 11-2-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) on the season, including a 5-2-0-0 record against Canada.
“I like the way we played today, especially our ability to get pucks in deep.” said David Hoff (Bottineau, N.D.), head coach of the U.S National Sled Hockey Team. “I think that we were able to stick with it and make a play to win the game at the very end says a lot about our guys.”
The U.S. was able to limit scoring chances on defense in the first, allowing just one shot on goal in the opening frame that was gloved by goaltender Jen Lee (San Francisco, Calif.). While the U.S. went on the power play twice, neither team scored, and the teams headed into the first intermission knotted at 0-0.
Nichols opened the scoring 8:11 into the second when Malik Jones (Aurora, Colo.) weaved through the neutral zone and connected with Nichols in the high slot, who unloaded a wrist shot to light the lamp for his second goal in as many games. The U.S. continued to apply pressure offensively with several near chances generated, outshooting Canada 6-2 in the period. In the final minute of the middle frame, Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) sent a high-flying flip pass from behind the Canada net over the goaltender and into the slot that was nearly batted in by a U.S. stick, but the period concluded with the U.S. up 1-0.
The 1-0 lead held for a majority of the third period until the U.S. faced a five on three penalty kill situation late in the third, and Canada’s Corbyn Smith redirected a feed from the circles past Lee to tie the game up at one goal apiece.
With just eight seconds remaining in the tied contest, the U.S. won a faceoff in the offensive zone where Wallace swung the puck over to Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.J.) at the left point, and the captain fired a shot from the point that was tipped up into the air outside the crease. Wallace crashed hard towards the net and batted the floating puck past the goaltender with just 1.4 seconds left for the game-winning goal to give the U.S. a 2-1 victory.
Lee picked up his second win of the series playing all 45:00.
NOTES: The U.S. outshot Canada 23-4… The U.S. was 0-3 on the power play, while Canada was 1-4… The U.S. finished the Sled Series with a record of 2-1-0-0.