OSTRAVA, Czechia – Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) scored twice, including his 150th career tally, to help the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team to a 6-1 victory over Czechia here today in the IPH Cup semifinals at Ostravar Arena.
With the win, Team USA advanced to the championship game and is set to play Canada tomorrow (Oct. 8) at 12:00 p.m. ET. The game can be viewed live here.
“I thought we had moments that were really good during the game,” said Corey Gorder (Bottineau, N.D.), assistant coach of the U.S. National Sled Team. “Going into tomorrow’s game, we need to tighten some things up defensively.”
Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) opened the scoring 2:04 into the contest, burying a rebound for his 150th career tally, which ranks as the most goals all-time in team history. With 5:31 to go in the opening frame, Farmer made it 2-0, weaving through several Czech defenders before blasting home a top shelf snipe.
While playing at four-on-four with a player in the box for each team, Jack Wallace (Franklin Lakes, N.J.) left a drop pass for Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.J.), who collected the puck in the slot, and capitalized to give Team USA a 3-0 lead with 1:21 remaining.
Evan Nichols (Haymarket, Va.) added to the tally with 5:40 to go in the second, deking from left to right to beat the goaltender to make it a 4-0 game. Just over two minutes later, Wallace found Malik Jones (Aurora, Colo.) out in front on a wraparound, and Jones buried Team USA’s fifth goal of the game.
Goaltender Griffin LaMarre (Haverhill, Mass.) made two highlight-reel saves in the closing minutes of the second period, including a diving save to shut down a breakaway chance for Czechia.
With 1:29 remaining in the middle frame, Michal Geier scored for Czechia to make it 5-1 heading into intermission.
David Eustace (Stoneham, Mass.) picked up what would prove to be the final tally of the game with 4:29 to go in the contest to put the U.S. up 6-1.
NOTES: Declan Farmer was named U.S. Player of the Game… Team USA outshot Czechia 30-7… Team USA was 0-2 on the power play, while Czechia was 0-1.