MOOSE JAW, Sask. – The U.S. National Sled Hockey Team beat Canada 6-1 to capture the gold medal at the 2023 World Para Ice Hockey Championship Sunday night at the Moose Jaw Events Centre, claiming its sixth World Championship gold medal.
The U.S. finished the tournament with a 5-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record and an unbeaten 16-2-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) 2022-23 season record. Team USA has now won the last three consecutive World Para Ice Hockey Championship (2023, 2021, 2019).
“I thought we pushed through the adversity tonight and this game really reflected how we battled through adversity all season,” said David Hoff (Bottineau, N.D.), head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team, “I'm so proud of the group. Tonight really came down to us getting quality opportunities and capitalizing on them.”
Goaltender Jen Lee (San Francisco, Calif.) stonewalled Canada on a point-blank shot from the slot to maintain the 1-0 lead at the midway mark of the first. Canada went to the powerplay with 5:56 to go, and Lee came up big once again, shutting down a high danger scoring chance on the penalty kill.
The U.S. went back on the penalty kill with 1:27 to go in the opening frame, but Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) broke loose for a breakaway and deked the goaltender to put the U.S. up 2-0 on a shorthanded goal with 44 seconds to go.
Just 1:23 into the middle frame, David Eustace (Stoneham, Mass.) crashed the net hard and buried a rebound off a shot from Jack Wallace (Franklin Lakes, N.J.) to give the U.S. a three-goal lead. Team USA held Canada to another scoreless period, including killing off a five-on-three powerplay. While shorthanded, Wallace broke free for a breakaway and fired a shot into top left corner to put the U.S. up 4-0 with 4:33 to play in the second.
At the 4:22 mark of the third, Canada’s Tyler McGregor cut the U.S. lead to 4-1, scoring on a wrist shot from the slot. With 6:53 remaining in the contest, Farmer beat the netminder for his second goal and team-leading seventh of the tournament to give Team USA a 5-1 lead.
Kevin McKee (Davenport, Iowa) added an empty-net goal in the final three minutes of the game to seal the 6-1 victory.
NOTES: David Eustace (Stoneham, Mass.) was named the U.S. Player of the Game … Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) was named both tournament MVP and Best Forward of the Tournament… The U.S. outshot Canada 23-9 … The U.S. was 0-3 on the power play, while Canada was 0-6.