TURIN, Italy — Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) scored three goals and six other U.S. players had multi-point games to lead the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team past Japan, 8-0, here today in its second preliminary round game of the 2018 Turin Para Ice Hockey International Tournament at the Palaghiaccio Tazzoli.
“Our players got into a rhythm early, which allowed us to roll all of our lines and see several players get rewarded for their efforts,” said Guy Gosselin, head coach of the 2018 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. “Two games in, we’re feeling good as a team. With one more preliminary round game tomorrow, it’s important we turn around and get ready for another solid effort before our off day on Thursday.”
Team USA (2-0-0-0/W-OTW-OTL-L) will close preliminary round action tomorrow when it takes on Norway. Puck drop is set for 3 p.m. local/9 a.m. ET at the Palaghiaccio Tazzoli. The tournament will have the day off Thursday before returning to action on Friday with two semifinal games based on preliminary round seeding.
The U.S. opened the game with a five-goal first period. Nikko Landeros (Johnstown, Colo.) started the scoring just 2:05 into the game when he received a pass from Rico Roman (Portland, Ore.), cut towards the slot and fired a shot past Japan’s goaltender Shinobu Fukushima.
Roybal doubled the U.S. lead 1:45 later by picking up his own rebound effort off an initial pass from Josh Misiewicz (La Grange, Ill.), curling around the goal and tucking the puck into the open net.
At 7:35 into the period, Roman made it 3-0 when he tallied his first goal of the game with a wraparound effort after an initial scoring chance by Landeros rang off the crossbar.
Back-to-back goals from Roybal and Misiewicz in the final minute of the frame gave the U.S. a 5-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
Roybal tallied the lone goal in the middle stanza at the 5:01 mark when he stole the puck in front of the crease and lifting a diving shot over the outstretched arm of Japanese goaltender Kazuya Mochizuki.
In the final period, Adam Page (Lancaster, N.Y.) pushed the U.S. lead to 7-0 at the 6:08 mark when he was able to one-time a rebound into the goal off an initial shot by Misiewicz. Less than two minutes later, Roman skated down the right-hand side and was able to fire a shot over Mochizuki’s right shoulder for his second goal of the game to account for the 8-0 final.
Jen Lee (San Francisco, Calif.) stopped both shots he faced to register Team USA’s second shutout of the tournament.
NOTES: Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) was named the U.S. Player of the Game … The U.S. outshot Japan, 29-2 and went 1-for-1 on the penalty kill. For complete game stats, click here ... Deloitte, Labatt USA and Toyota are proud sponsors of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team ... The 2018 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team was announced on Jan. 1, 2018, and can be seen here ... 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 and 2018 U.S. Paralympic 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 and third stint overall with 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.).