BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) made 16 saves and Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) netted a pair of goals as the 2017-18 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team opened the 2018 Border Series with a 2-1 win over Canada here tonight at the HarborCenter.
"A win is a win and there's a lot we can take away from tonight," said Guy Gosselin, head coach of the 2017-18 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. "Steve was terrific in net and we saw some key contributions to get us the win. We'll regroup tomorrow before turning our attention to Saturday's game."
The two teams will return to action on Saturday (Feb. 10), when the U.S. travels to Port Colborne, Ontario, for a 3:30 p.m. ET tilt at the Vale Health & Wellness Center. Prior to Saturday's game, the U.S. will hold a practice from 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. here at the HarborCenter.
The game began with each team generating scoring opportunities. Noah Grove (Frederick, Md.) nearly opened the scoring near the midway point of the frame when he outraced a Canadian defender to a loose puck but saw his shot from the right of goal turned aside by Canadian goaltender Dominic Larocque.
With 3:21 to play in the period, Canada was able to convert on a power play when Greg Westlake’s shot in front of the crease beat an outstretched Cash. The goal ended a U.S. shutout streak of five-straight games.
Just 1:02 into the middle frame, the U.S. evened the score thanks to a great individual effort by Grove. After again beating a Canadian defender to a loose puck, he skated in alone on net before dropping the puck back to Farmer who curled to the left of the net before lifting a right-handed shot into the top right corner of the net.
Cash was called upon throughout the middle of the frame as he was able to keep the score even, 1-1, with a pair of key saves.
In the final minute of the period, Farmer was able to put the U.S. up 2-1 with a power-play tally. The play started when Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) and Josh Misiewicz (La Grange, Ill.) entered the Canadian zone with a nice give-and-go passing play. After a Canadian defender broke up the play, Misiewicz was able to corral the puck and whip a left-handed pass towards the slot where Farmer one-timed the puck beneath Larocque for the go-ahead goal.
Cash made another seven stops in the final period to preserve the 2-1 victory and finished with 16 saves total.
Notes: For the boxscore, 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. Highlighting the roster is captain Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.J.); alternate captains Nikko Landeros (Johnstown, Colo.) and Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.); and goaltender Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) ... 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 in Buffalo 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 Bill Samberg (Parker, Colo.).