TURIN, Italy — Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.), Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) and Jack Wallace(Franklin Lakes, N.J.) each scored twice to lead the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team past Japan, 9-0, here in the semifinals of the 2018 Turin Para Ice Hockey International Tournament at the Palaghiaccio Tazzoli.
“This win was another example of what happens when our guys are focused and working together,” said Guy Gosselin, head coach of the 2018 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. “Our time here in Italy has been fantastic, but we came here for a championship and that’s what we expect to accomplish tomorrow.”
The United States (4-0-0-0/W-OTW-OTL-L) will face Italy in tomorrow’s championship game, which is set for 10 a.m. local time/4 a.m. ET. The game marks the team's 12th straight berth in the championship game of a major international event.
Roybal opened the scoring 5:56 into the game when he picked up a loose puck at center ice, skated along the right wall and past a pair of Japanese defenders before cutting towards goal and snapping a wrist shot into the top right of the net.
Just 1:10 later, Farmer doubled the U.S. lead after Noah Grove (Frederick, Md.) found him alone in front of the net for a tap-in shot that beat Japan’s goaltender Kazuya Mochizuki low glove-side.
The U.S. closed the first stanza with four goals in the last five minutes of play. Kevin McKee (Chicago, Ill.) started the scoring on the power play with 4:04 remaining. Just 20 seconds later Nikko Landeros (Johnstown, Colo.) cut into the offensive zone and past a pair of Japanese defenders before finding Farmer in the slot where he was able to fire home his second goal of the game. Wallace then added a goal another 40 seconds later by firing his own rebound into the net with 3:08.
Adam Page (Lancaster, N.Y.) accounted for the final U.S. goal of the period by firing home a long-ranged effort that gave Team USA a 6-0 lead to enter the first intermission.
In the middle frame, Roybal tallied his second of the game 6:29 into the period by sending a high wrist shot from the top of the right circle into the top left corner while on the power play.
At the 10:10 mark, Tyler Carron (Fort Collins, Colo.) extended Team USA’s lead to 8-0 after his shot from the top of the slot redirected past Mochizuki. Wallace then made it 9-0 with 2:32 in the period by one-timing a pass from Grove.
Neither team were able to convert in the final stanza as Jen Lee (San Francisco, Calif.) helped the U.S. register its fourth-straight shutout in the tournament.
NOTES: Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla) was named the U.S. Player of the Game … 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.).