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U.S. National Sled Hockey Team Beats Czechia 4-1 in Preliminary Round of IPH Cup

By USA Hockey, 10/05/23, 2:15PM EDT

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Team USA will play Czechia in semifinals on Saturday

OSTRAVA, Czechia – Jack Wallace (Franklin Lakes, N.J.) tallied a goal and an assist to help the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team to a 4-1 victory over Czechia in its final preliminary-round game of the IPH Cup at Ostravar Arena. 

With the win, Team USA finished the preliminary round undefeated with a 3-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record and is set to play Czechia on Saturday (Oct. 7) in the semifinals. Opening faceoff is set for 12:00 p.m. ET, and the game can be viewed live here.

“It was a solid effort defensively, and the first period was our best start to a game in this tournament,” said David Hoff (Bottineau, N.D.), head coach of the U.S. National Sled Team. “The second and third periods weren’t quite as sharp but overall we had a strong effort.”

Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) opened the scoring 2:14 into the game, rifling one past the goaltender to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead. Liam Cunningham (River Falls, Wis.), who recorded his first career point on the play, and Wallace picked up assists. 

Just over two minutes later, Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) put Team USA up 2-0, burying his fifth goal of the tournament off a pass from Evan Nichols (Haymarket, Va.) on a two-on-one rush. 

At the 5:30 mark, a blast from Wallace extended the U.S. lead to 3-0, with Malik Jones (Aurora, Colo.) picking up the assist. 

The middle stanza was scoreless for both sides, with goaltenders Jen Lee (San Francisco, Calif.) and Martin Kudela each making key stops to hold the score at 3-0. 

With 6:57 remaining in the game, David Eustace (Stoneham, Mass.) forced an offensive-zone turnover and then beat the goaltender with a top-shelf wrister to add to the tally for Team USA. 

With 4:43 left in the contest, the Czechia went on a five-on-three powerplay. Czechia broke out of the defensive zone with 3:27 to go, and Michal Geier capitalized on a breakaway chance to make it a 4-1 game in what would ultimately be the final tally of the contest. 

NOTES: David Eustace was named U.S. Player of the Game… Team USA outshot Czechia 23-5… Team USA was 1-2 on the power play, while Czechia was 1-4.

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