INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. - Paul Schaus (Buffalo, N.Y.), Rico Roman (Portland, Ore.) and Kevin McKee (Davenport, Iowa) scored goals and goaltender Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) made 12 saves to help the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team skate past Canada, 3-1, in the finale of a three-game series at Extreme Ice Center.
"This was a great way for us to finish international competition before we head to the Paralympics in March," said Jeff Sauer, head coach the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team. "Much like yesterday, we used our speed effectively and played with a lot of intensity. Overall, we are happy with how we played this weekend and are looking forward to continuing to improve as we prepare for Sochi."
After Brad Bowden scored at 7:15 of the opening period to give Canada a 1-0 lead, Schaus went hard to the front of the net and knocked in a centering pass to knot the score. Roman poked the puck along the wall behind the net to Josh Sweeney (Phoenix, Ariz.), who quickly turned and dished it to Schaus at the edge of the crease, where he one-timed it past goaltender Corbin Watson.
Team USA took the lead for good at 11:06 of the middle frame when Roman scored from the right circle. After Taylor Chace (Hampton Falls, N.H.) batted a puck to the neutral zone, Sweeney won a race and moved down the wall before leaving a drop pass for Roman. Roman grabbed the puck, moved to his right and fired a shot through traffic and under Watson's blocker to give the U.S. a 2-1 edge.
McKee capped the USA victory when he scored into an empty net with just 15 seconds remaining.
While Team USA has concluded pre-Paralympic Winter Games play, it has two final training camps. The U.S. will return to Indian Trail, N.C., Feb. 15-23 and head to Colorado Springs, Colo., Feb. 26-27. The squad heads to Sochi, Russia on Feb. 28. Its first game is against Italy on March 8.