BUFFALO, N.Y. — Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) scored twice and Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) made 10 saves as the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team defeated Canada, 4-1, here tonight at HARBORCENTER to claim the 2016 IPC Sled Hockey Pan-Pacific Championship.
With the victory, the United States has now won the last five major international events, also including the 2016 World Sled Hockey Challenge in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia; the 2015 IPC Sled Hockey World Championship in Buffalo, New York; the 2015 World Sled Hockey Challenge in Leduc, Alberta; and the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
“There’s nothing better than winning a championship on home ice,” said Jeff Sauer, head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. “This performance was a continuation from last night’s play and I’m happy to see our players close the season the way they did.”
After a scoreless first period, Farmer opened the scoring 5:57 into the second stanza when he followed up on a rebound and batted home the loose puck. The goal was his 12th of the season, setting a new U.S. record for most goals by player in a single season.
Chris Douglas (Saint Cloud, Fla.) gave the U.S. a 2-0 lead just 2:15 later with his first goal as a member of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. Luke McDermott (Westerlo, N.Y.) won the draw at the left faceoff dot allowing Douglas to pick up the puck and tuck it under the crossbar.
Team USA extended its lead to 3-0 with 2:46 remaining in the middle frame when Brody Roybal(Northlake, Ill.) skated over the blue line and dropped the puck back to Farmer who weaved around a Canadian defender and fired a wrist shot into the upper corner of the net on the blocker side.
Cash’s shutout bid ended with 3:29 remaining in the third period when Tyler McGregor scored from the left faceoff dot.
Kevin McKee (Chicago, Ill.) scored an empty-net goal with 1:27 remaining to account for the 4-1 final.
NOTES: Chris Douglas (Saint Cloud, Fla.) was named the U.S. Player of the Game … Team USA outshot Canada, 15-11 … For complete game stats, click here … Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.J.) was named Best Defender of the Tournament and Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) was named Best Forward of the Tournament, as selected by the Directorate … To get additional information on the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team, click here.