TURIN, Italy — Josh Misiewicz (La Grange, Ill.) registered four points and Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) scored three goals for the second straight game as the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team blanked Norway, 8-0, to finish the preliminary round undefeated here at the 2018 Turin Para Ice Hockey International Tournament at the Palaghiaccio Tazzoli.
“Three games in three days is tough, but I’m proud of the way we closed out the preliminary round with a great team performance,” said Guy Gosselin, head coach of the 2018 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. “We’re feeling good about our game right now. We’ll enjoy tomorrow’s off day as a team and then turn our attention to Friday’s semifinal.”
Team USA (3-0-0-0/W-OTW-OTL-L) will play its semifinal game on Friday (Jan. 26) against Japan. Face-off is set for 3 p.m. local/9 a.m. ET with the winner set to play in the championship game on Saturday at 1 p.m. local/7 a.m. ET against the winner of the Italy-Norway semifinal.
The United States opened the scoring 1:41 into the game when Roybal collected a pass by Nikko Landeros (Johnstown, Colo.) and lifted a shot from the left circle over Norway’s goaltender Kissinger Deng.
Kevin McKee (Chicago, ll.) doubled Team USA’s lead at the 6:10 mark with his first goal of the tournament. The play started at the blue line when Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.J.) fired the puck down along the boards to behind the net where Misiewicz was able to collect it before dishing the puck to McKee at the top of the crease for the tap-in goal. Just 2:21 later, Landeros made it 3-0 by finishing a passing play from Jack Wallace (Franklin Lakes, N.J.) and Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.).
With 3:05 remaining in the opening period, Roybal tallied his second goal of the game off another assist from Misiewicz. After entering the zone along the right boards, Misiewicz threw a centering pass to Roybal who cut to the right of a defender before receiving the pass and tucking a shot under the crossbar to give the U.S. a 4-0 lead entering the first intermission.
Roybal registered his third goal of the game 3:07 into the middle frame when he grabbed a pass from Misiewicz to the left of goal and carried the puck towards the net before cutting back and sliding the puck just inside the left goal post.
The U.S. made it 6-0 just 2:33 later when Farmer netted his first goal of the tournament by skating the puck from behind the goal and sending a backhanded effort into the top of the net. Misiewicz then tallied at the 7:51 mark by tapping home a loose puck in the slot before Landeros accounted for Team USA’s eighth goal of the game with 3:54 remaining in the stanza off a wrist shot from the bottom of the left circle.
Both teams traded chances in the final period, but neither were able to convert as the score held for an 8-0 U.S. win.
Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) stopped four shots to secure his second shutout and Team USA’s third-straight shutout of the tournament.
NOTES: Josh Misiewicz (La Grange, Ill.) was named the U.S. Player of the Game … The U.S. outshot Norway, 20-4. For the 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.).