BRIDGEWATER, Nova Scotia - Kevin McKee (Chicago, Ill.) tallied a goal and an assist and Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) made 11 saves, but the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team fell to Canada, 3-2, in the shootout here tonight at the 2016 World Sled Hockey Challenge.
The U.S. ends preliminary round play 2-0-1-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) and will face Russia tomorrow in semifinal action. Puck drop is slated for 1p.m. ET and will be streamed live on FASTHockey.com.
“We haven’t lost a game in two years so this will be good for us to come down the mountain a little bit,” said Jeff Sauer, head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. “You don’t have to win every game in these tournaments; just the right ones and tomorrow becomes the right one. Hopefully we’ll face them again.
Canada opened the scoring just :41 into the game when Billy Bridges found a loose puck in front of goal and tucked it under Cash.
After Josh Sweeney (Portland, Ore.) drew a holding penalty on a partial breakaway, the U.S. went on the power play where they created several chances to even the game highlighted by a pair of chances from Team USA's leading scorer, Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.). Despite outshooting Canada, 7-2, over the final half of the period, the U.S. entered the intermission trailing, 1-0.
The U.S. carried the momentum into the second frame and at 3:36 McKee banked home a pass from Farmer and Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) to even the score. Canada regained the lead 10 seconds later, however, when Adam Dixon scored with a high shot from the slot.
A penalty to Canada at 4:02 resulted in Team USA’s second power play of the game. Just :30 into the man-advantage, Paul Schaus (Buffalo, N.Y.) scored off a feed from McKee to tie the game, 2-2.
Nikko Landeros (Johnstown, Colo.) nearly gave the U.S. a 3-2 advantage early in the third period when his shot from the left hashmark rang off the post. Despite outshooting Canada, 24-12, the teams ended regulation tied, 2-2.
Both teams traded chances early in the extra time but after five minutes of play the teams headed to a shootout. In the shootout, Farmer connected once and Cash made two saves before Canada's Dixon scored to account for the 3-2, final.
NOTES: Nikko Landeros was named the U.S. Player of the Game ... Team USA outshot Canada, 28-13, and was one-for-three on the powerplay ... For complete box score, click here.