The U.S. and Canada met in the 2023 Para Hockey Cup championship, continuing a streak of seven seasons where these two teams have faced off for the tournament title.
Declan Farmer, Brody Roybal and Jen Lee led the U.S. to a 3-0 victory against Canada to claim the Para Hockey Cup title.
“It was a great tournament, and it was really fun,” Farmer said. “[Canada] brought the fight and mucked it up a little bit. It’s good practice winning ugly. It’s not always clean and that’s what we had to do, so I’m proud of our effort.”
Farmer helped the U.S. finish the Para Hockey Cup with a perfect 5-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record. This is the 10th Para Hockey Cup championship for the Americans and their eighth in a row, with their last loss coming in 2013.
Farmer noted that there are only five players on the current 17-man roster who were on that team a decade ago.
“Everyone else has only seen victories in this tournament,” Farmer said. “We love sled hockey, we love and respect the game no matter what tournament it is. Anytime we’re wearing the USA sweaters, we come to play.”
Farmer finished the tournament with eight goals and 16 points in five games, while Roybal, his linemate, followed with five goals and 13 points.
“[Roybal] and I play together a lot on special teams, but we haven’t been on a line together for a few years,” Farmer said. “We think the game the same way, so it’s really good to play with guys like that because we always anticipate the play instead of reacting to it and it makes for a lot of good offense.”
Lee, who has played with Team USA since 2012, enjoyed a perfect tournament with three shutouts in three games. He made 13 saves in the championship game and stopped all 31 shots he faced in the tournament.
“It was definitely a physical game,” Lee said about the championship. “Canada definitely played hard, but our guys battled through. We’ve been preaching playing through adversity, and it was definitely a great battle and another great game with Canada. We’re happy to bring the Cup back to the U.S.”
The goaltender tandem of Lee and Griffin LaMarre only allowed one goal in the tournament, as the U.S. outscored its opposition 28-1 throughout the five games. Lee stepped up on the biggest stage in a close championship game.
“Our goalies, [Lee and LaMarre] are two of the best in the world and we get to practice with them all the time,” Farmer said. “They don’t get the credit they deserve. We’re in a position where we score a lot of goals, and they don’t have to be the guy making saves, so it was cool for Jen to be that guy [in the championship]. He did a fantastic job and was definitely the key to our win.”
Lee stopped nine shots in a 5-0 win against Canada in the preliminary round. He had to stop a few more in the championship game, but he was quick to give credit to his teammates for the way they played.
“The guys in front of me and the defense played their tails off,” Lee said. “There were hardly any breakaway chances or odd-man rushes. It’s an honor to be part of it all.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.