CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Eight different players tallied goals as the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team topped Korea, 8-1, here today in the semifinals of the 2016 (Dec.) World Sled Hockey Challenge at MacLauchlan Arena.
“I really liked the balance we had offensively today,” said Jeff Sauer, head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. “We moved the puck really well and created a lot of opportunities. We continue to get better heading into Saturday’s championship game.”
The victory earns Team USA (3-1-0-0; W-OTW-OTL-L) a spot in Saturday’s (Dec. 10) championship game at 3 p.m. ET against the winner of tonight’s semifinal matchup between Norway and Canada. The title game will be streamed live at HockeyTV.com, in addition to being updated live on Twitter @USAHockeyScores.
Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) opened the scoring for the U.S. on a two-on-one rush with Kevin McKee (Chicago, Ill.) just 4:51 into the contest on a one-timer shot from the left circle. Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) also collected an assist on the game’s opening goal.
The U.S. doubled its lead with 3:20 left in the frame when Adam Page (Lancaster, N.Y.) scored the first of three Team USA power-play markers in the game. Page collected a pass from Nikko Landeros (Johnstown, Colo.) in the slot and fired a shot that beat Korean netminder Jae-Woong Lee glove side. Rico Roman (Portland, Ore.) was also credited with an assist on the eventual game-winning goal.
Team USA took control in the second period, outshooting Korea 16-2 and finding the back of the net five times. Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.J.) began the scoring just 45 seconds into the frame with a power-play goal from the bottom of the right circle. Just 3:02 after Pauls’ tally, Luke McDermott (Westerlo, N.Y.) netted his first goal of the tournament with a shot from the slot on the man-advantage.
Farmer, Landeros and Roman each netted goals in a 3:32 span in the middle of the frame to account for a 7-0 score entering the second intermission.
Paul Schaus (Buffalo, N.Y.) scored with 5:02 remaining before Korea’s Ju-Seung Lee tallied on the man-advantage with 2:02 left to account for the 8-1 final.
Goaltender Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) made two saves before giving way to Bo Reichenbach (Billings, Mont.) early in the second period. Reichenbach finished with three stops in the final 27 minutes of play.
NOTES: Paul Schaus (Buffalo, N.Y.) was named U.S. Player of the Game … Team USA outshot Korea, 28-6, finished 3-for-6 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill … For complete game stats, click here … Competing in its fifth-straight World Sled Hockey Challenge Championship Game, the U.S. seeks to become the first team to claim three straight tournament titles after winning the 2015 event and the 2016 (Jan.) event ... Declan Farmer’s 14 points (7-7) are the most ever by a U.S. player at a single World Sled Hockey Challenge … Noah Grove tallied his first three points (0-3) as a member of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team ... Follow all U.S. games during the World Sled Hockey Challenge via Twitter by using @USAHockey and @USAHockeyScores, and join the conversation by using the hashtag #WSHC.
The United States faces Korea at 11 a.m. ET at MacLauchlan Arena (capacity: 1,350) in the semifinal round of the 2016 (Dec.) World Sled Hockey Challenge. The game will be streamed live on HockeyTV.com, in addition to being updated live on Twitter @USAHockeyScores.
USA VS. KOREA
Team USA holds a 12-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record all-time against Korea. The two teams met on Sunday (Dec. 4) in the opening game of the 2016 (Dec.) World Sled Hockey Challenge, with the U.S. earning a 4-0 win. Team USA also faced Korea in the 2015 World Sled Hockey Challenge semifinals. Dan McCoy paced the U.S. with five points in an 8-0 victory.
TEAM USA IN THE WSHC SEMIFINALS
Since the World Sled Hockey Challenge implemented the semifinal round in 2011, Team USA is 5-0-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L). Its only loss came on April 22, 2011, when the U.S. fell to Norway, 5-4.
Declan Farmer is two points shy of matching his U.S. record for most points (13) in a single World Sled Hockey Challenge and one goal away from tying himself and Nikko Landeros for most goals (7) in a World Sled Hockey Challenge.
Last night, Declan Farmer netted two goals, including the overtime winner 1:14 into the extra frame, to lead the U.S. past Canada, 2-1. Steve Cash made 14 saves to earn his second victory of the tournament. Brody Roybal added a pair of assists. Farmer was named U.S. Player of the Game.