CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) registered a goal and three assists as the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team defeated Italy, 5-1, today to advance to the championship game of the 2017 World Sled Hockey Challenge on Saturday (Dec. 9). The U.S. will face the winner of tonight’s Canada-Korea semifinal matchup with puck drop on Saturday set for 4 p.m. local/3 p.m. ET.
"I'm proud of our performance considering the quick turnaround from last night's game," said Guy Gosselin, head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. "Players had to push through some adversity, but they were up to the challenge and we're excited to be playing for a championship on Saturday."
With the win, the United States (4-0-0-0/W-OTW-OTL-L) secures its seventh-straight berth in the World Sled Hockey Challenge championship and has a chance to claim its fourth-straight title in the event after winning the 2016 (Dec.), 2016 (Jan.) and 2015 events.
Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) opened the scoring 1:12 into the game with his fifth goal of the tournament. After taking a pass from Nikko Landeros (Johnstown, Colo.), Roybal skated down the left-hand side before cutting towards the net and around Italy’s goaltender Gabriele Araudo to slide the puck into net.
With 1:14 remaining in the first period, Josh Misiewicz (La Grange, Ill.) scored his second goal in as many games when he corralled an initial shot attempt by Landeros and was able to tuck it into the goal.
The middle frame saw the U.S. push its lead to 4-0 behind a pair of goals from Adam Page (Lancaster, N.Y.). The first occurred just 2:17 into the frame when his pass from the left corner was redirected towards the net and under Araudo’s sled. Five minutes later Page tallied again when Farmer pulled the puck out of a scramble in front of goal and found Page alone at the left post for the tap-in goal.
Italy scored 4:46 into the final stanza to cut the U.S. lead to three when Sandro Kalegaris sent a wrist shot over the outstretched glove of Jen Lee (San Francisco, Calif.). The U.S. responded four minutes later when Farmer one-timed a pass from Roybal into the top left corner of the goal to account for the 5-1 final.
Lee finished with seven saves on eight shots in the win.
NOTES: Adam Page (Lancaster, N.Y.) was named the U.S. Player of the Game ... For the complete box score, click here … Deloitte, Labatt USA and Toyota are proud sponsors of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team ... Dan Brennan (Colorado Springs, Colo.), director of sled national teams for USA Hockey, is serving as the general manager of the 2017-18 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team ... Guy Gosselin (Grafton, Wis.), a two-time U.S. Olympian (1988, 1992) and USA Hockey's regional manager of the American Development Model, is in his first season as head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. Joining Gosselin behind the bench is assistant coach David Hoff (Bottineau, N.D.) while additional U.S. staff members include team physician Mike Uihlein (Grafton, Wis.), athletic trainer Mike Cortese (Boynton Beach, Fla.) and equipment manager Joel Isaacson (Houghton, Mich.) ... The 2018 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team is expected to be announced on Jan. 1, 2018.