GANGNEUNG, South Korea -- Nikko Landeros (Johnstown, Colo.) scored, but the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team lost to Canada, 4-1, to finish with a silver medal at the 2017 Para Sled Hockey World Championship in Gangneung, South Korea.
It is the third silver medal in world championship play for Team USA, which finished the tournament with a 6-0-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record.
Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) was named the tournament's top forward after totaling 16 points (12-4) in seven games. Team USA, which opened the season by capturing the 2016 World Sled Hockey Challenge crown back in December, completes the 2016-17 campaign with a 10-1-0-1 record.
"It's disappointing to fall short of our goal," said Guy Gosselin, head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. "Give Canada credit, they played a tough game. We just weren't able to find that extra gear tonight."
Both teams traded chances early before Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.J.) nearly opened the scoring for the U.S. with a sliding shot from the right hashmark that was turned aside by Canadian goaltender Dominic Larocque.
Brad Bowden gave Canada a 1-0 lead just three minutes later by tucking a wrist shot under the crossbar from the left face-off dot. Canada doubled its lead within a minute when Liam Hickey curled around Andy Yohe (Bettendorf, Iowa) and beat Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) with a low wrist shot from just inside the blue line.
With just over six minutes to play in the second period, Tyler McGregor netted a pair of goals 12 seconds apart to make it 4-0 for Canada.
In the final frame, Landeros scored just six seconds into a five-on-three advantage to make the score 4-1 with 2:58 to play.
Cash finished with 13 saves for the U.S.
NOTES: Andy Yohe (Bettendorf, Iowa) was named U.S. Player of the Game … The U.S. was outshot by Canada, 17-13, finished 1-for-4 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill … Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) was named the tournament’s best forward … Labatt USA is a proud sponsor of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team ... The 2017 IPC Sled Hockey World Championship doubled as a test event for the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games and saw the United States, Canada, Korea, Norway and Italy receive automatic qualification for the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. ... Among the 17 players representing Team USA, 12 were members of the 2015 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team that won the 2015 IPC Sled Hockey World Championship. For the complete 2016-17 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team roster, click here ... Dan Brennan (Colorado Springs, Colo.), director of inline and sled hockey national teams for USA Hockey, is the general manager of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. Head Coach Guy Gosselin (Grafton, Wis.) is joined behind the bench by assistant coach David Hoff (Bottineau, N.D.). Additional team staff members include athletic trainer Mike Cortese (Boynton Beach, Fla.), assistant coach Mike Sertich (Duluth, Minn.), equipment manager Joel Isaacson (Houghton, Mich.), and team physician Mike Uihlein (Grafton, Wis.). Cortese, Isaacson, and Uihlein have been staff members for the past four seasons.
|Date (U.S)||Opponent||Result||U.S. Player of Game|
|April 12||Sweden||W, 7-0||Brody Roybal|
|April 13||Italy||W, 9-1||Declan Farmer|
|April 15||Germany||W, 9-0||Josh Pauls|
|April 17||Canada||W, 2-1||Kevin McKee|
|April 17||Norway||W, 6-0||Tyler Carron|
|April 19||Korea||W, 5-0||Jack Wallace|
|L, 1-4||Andy Yohe|
Team USA faces Canada tonight in the gold medal game at the 2017 Para Sled Hockey World Championship here in Gangneung, South Korea. Tonight’s game will be streamed live on Gangneung2017.com with live tweets available through @usahockey using the hashtag #SledWorlds. In addition, NBCSN will air the game on tape delay at 2:30 p.m. ET.
USA VS. CANADA
The two teams met on Monday (April 17), with the U.S. claiming a 2-1 victory. Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) made 11 saves and Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) scored the game-winning goal.
In nine world championship meetings, the U.S. holds a 4-1-0-4 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record against Canada. This is the third consecutive world championship gold medal game to feature the two countries. In 2015, Team USA won, 3-0, on home ice in Buffalo, New York, while Canada claimed the 2013 gold medal game by a 1-0 count in Goyang City, South Korea. That 1-0 defeat was Team USA's last loss in world championship play, which has gone on to win 11 straight games.
Since the 2014-15 season, the two teams have met 12 times, with the U.S. posting a 8-2-1-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record and outscoring Canada, 31-13. All-time, the teams have met on 85 occasions with the U.S. holding a record of 23-9-8-44-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T).
MORE THAN GOLD
Throughout the tournament, Team USA's players have been driven to success to honor their late head coach, Jeff Sauer (Madison, Wis.), who passed away in February.
"Coach Sauer meant the world to these players and this staff, and we want to make sure we finish this season off on the high note he deserves," said Guy Gosselin, head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. “I was fortunate to work alongside him with this team for a number of years, and we all know what a gold here would mean for him and his legacy.”
"It's about more than a gold medal this time around; it's about honoring Coach Sauer," said alternate captain Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.J.). "There's not a guy in this room who doesn't miss him, whether it was the things he did to help our game on the ice or to make us better individuals off the ice. We're thinking of him and know he's with us."
SEEKING SECOND BACK-TO-BACK GOLDS
The defending gold medalist in the event, Team USA looks to win back-to-back gold medals at the world championship for the second time (2009, 2012). Goaltender Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) backstopped both U.S. teams. The United States, the only team to successfully defend its gold medal, has successfully won back-to-back titles at both the Paralympic (2010, 2014) and world championship (2009, 2012) level and is a three-time defending champion in the World Sled Hockey Challenge (2015, 2016 (Jan.), 2016 (Dec.).
TITLE GAME REGULARS
This is the 12th straight major international tournament -- and fifth straight world championship -- in which the United States will be competing in the championship game. In that span, Team USA has claimed nine titles, including the 2016 (Dec.) World Sled Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; the 2016 IPC Pan-Pacific Championship in Buffalo, New York; the 2016 (Jan.) 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; the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia; the 2012 IPC Sled Hockey World Championship in Hamar, Norway; the 2012 World Sled Hockey Challenge in Calgary, Alberta and the 2011 (Nov.) World Sled Hockey Challenge that also took place in Calgary. The U.S. finished as runner-ups to Canada in the 2013 IPC Sled Hockey World Championship in Goyang City, South Korea, and the 2013 World Sled Hockey Challenge in Toronto, Ontario.
GAME #6, APRIL 19: USA 5, KOREA 0
Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) scored twice and eight other players tallied a point as Team USA defeated Korea, 5-0, to finish preliminary round with a perfect 6-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record.
"This was a good team win," said Guy Gosselin, head coach of Team USA. "We had good puck movement and contributions from all of our lines. Now, we rest up and make sure we're ready to go for gold tomorrow."