The United States faces Canada tonight in the championship game of the 2016 World Sled Hockey Challenge here at Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre (capacity: 1,200) in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. This is Team USA’s fifth consecutive trip to the tournament’s championship game. Additionally, it is the fifth time the two teams will face-off for the tournament title. Tonight’s game will be streamed live in the U.S. on USAHockey.com.
USA VS. CANADA
The U.S. and Canada met on Wednesday (Jan. 20), where the U.S. outshot Canada, 28-13, but fell in a shootout, 3-2. The loss was Team USA’s first to Canada since a 4-1 decision in the 2013 WSHC championship game on Dec. 7, 2013. That 2013 loss also marked the last time Team USA allowed more than one goal to Canada, a span that included eight games.
TEAM USA IN WSHC CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES
Team USA is 1-2-0-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L) in WSHC championship games. Last year, Kevin McKee scored in regulation and Josh Pauls tallied 19 seconds into overtime to give the U.S. a 2-1 victory over Russia.
THINGS TO KNOW
Declan Farmer leads the tournament in goals (6) and points (10) while Kevin McKee ranks first in assists (7) ... Farmer (6-4--10), McKee (2-7--9) and Brody Roybal (3-5--8) have tallied a point in each U.S. game and combined for 27 points ... The United States’ penalty-kill is a perfect 9-for-9 in tournament play ... Thursday night (Jan. 21), Team USA presented signed team jerseys to its two hosts, Cam Seamone, and Jennifer Milbury. Players and staff then enjoyed a home-cooked steak and lobster dinner at Seamone’s home ... On Wednesday (Jan. 20), Team USA received a visit from Labatt USA brand manager, Lisa Texido, who is involved in Labatt USA’s Pass It Forward Initiative. Visit labattus.com/sled-hockey/ for more information.
U.S. RECORD BREAKERS
Several current U.S. players find themselves atop U.S. record lists in WSHC tournament play.
On Thursday (Jan. 21), Declan Farmer set a new U.S. record for most points in a single WSHC with 10 (6-4) and is one goal away from tying Nikko Landeros’ U.S. record for most goals (7) in a WSHC, which he set in April 2011. Kevin McKee’s seven assists in a single WSHC are also a new U.S. record, surpassing Farmer’s six-assist performance in last year’s tournament. Additionally, McKee’s nine points (2-7) overall tie Farmer’s point total from last year for second all-time. Steve Cash finished last year’s tournament with a 0.66 goals-against-average and .936 save percentage, both of which are Team USA bests in a single WSHC.
Among U.S. players, Kevin McKee holds the record for most career WSHC points with 31 (14-17). Josh Pauls leads all U.S. players with 17 career WSHC goals while Nikko Landeros is second with 15. Pauls (17-13--30) and Landeros (15-15--30) both sit one point behind McKee for most career WSHC points and Declan Farmer (13-15--28) trails McKee by two.
TEAM USA ON THE TODAY SHOW
Tomorrow, Jan. 24, the Today Show will air a segment featuring U.S. National Sled Hockey Team members Nikko Landeros, Luke McDermott, Bo Reichenbach, Josh Sweeney and head coach Jeff Sauer. The segment was filmed Wednesday (Jan. 20) with Today Show correspondent, Craig Melvin, who was in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, to meet the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team and Labatt USA’s Lisa Texido to learn more about sled hockey, its impact on the lives of those who play it and Labatt USA’s efforts to raise awareness and funding to expand USA Hockey’s Sled Hockey program and help disabled athletes get back on the ice and back in the game.