INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. – Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) and Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.J.) scored and Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) made eight saves as the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team shut out Canada, 2-0, in the opening contest of a three-game series between the two squads at Extreme Ice Center in Indian Trail, North Carolina.
“We got better as the game went on,” said Guy Gosselin, acting head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. “The key now is to improve for the next game of the series.”
After a scoreless first period, Team USA grabbed a 1-0 lead 6:24 into the second stanza when Roybal’s shot from the right hash mark beat Canada goaltender, Dominic Larocque, on the glove side. Nikko Landeros (Johnstown, Colo.) and Josh Sweeney (Phoenix, Ariz.) earned assists on the play. Pauls extended the lead with 3:31 remaining in the second when he collected a pass from Landeros and slid the puck beneath Larocque.
Cash made eight saves to earn his third shutout of the season and second consecutive shutout against Canada. The U.S. defeated Canada, 2-0, in preliminary-round action of the 2015 World Sled Hockey Challenge.
USA and Canada return to action tomorrow (March 27) at Extreme Ice Center. Puck drop is set for 4 p.m. ET and the game will be streamed live at FASTHockey.com. Additionally, live stats and complete coverage of the series can be found here.
NOTES: The U.S. outshot Canada, 12-8 … For full game stats, click here … U.S. National Sled Hockey Team assistant coach Guy Gosselin (Grafton, Wis.) is serving as head coach for Team USA throughout the Sled Series. Jeff Sauer (Madison, Wis.), currently in his fourth season as head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team, is missing the series to coach the U.S. Deaflympic Ice Hockey Team in the 18th Winter Deaflympics in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia … Dan Brennan, director of sled and inline national teams for USA Hockey, is serving as the general manager. Additional staff members include team physician Mike Uihlein (Grafton, Wis.), athletic trainer Mike Cortese (Boynton Beach, Fla.) and equipment manager Joel Isaacson (Houghton, Mich.) … For live updates, follow @USAHockeyScores on Twitter and join the conversation on social media by using #SledSeries … The 2015 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships will take place April 26-May 3 at HARBORCENTER in Buffalo, New York. For tournament information, click here. For Team USA information, click here.