The U.S. National Sled Hockey Team claimed gold at the 2015 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships this afternoon, earning its fourth consecutive shutout in a 3-0 victory over Canada. The teams remained scoreless through the first two periods of play. Just 2:58 into the final frame Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) slid a shot low on the short side past Canada's goaltender to the break the tie and it was all Team USA needed for the win.
"It's really amazing to finish the season undefeated," said Jeff Sauer, head coach of the 2015 U.S. National Sled Team. "It's a great credit to our guys. It's always fun to win."
Through the first two periods both teams played a physical game and traded scoring chances. Canada's best opportunity came in the first on a breakaway. U.S. goaltender Steve Cash(Overland, Mo.) left the crease to challenge the skater who still got the shot off and the puck narrowly missed the open net. Canada created a few more quality scoring chances, but the U.S. controlled most of the play, outshooting Canada 13-3 through the first two stanzas.
In the third period, Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) fed Farmer a pass out of the right offensive corner and he scored low on the goaltender's short side to give the U.S. the 1-0 lead. Less than five minutes later with Team USA continuing to pressure, Adam Page (Lancaster, N.Y.) foundDan McCoy (Cheswick, Pa.) waiting at the front of the net where he fired a shot over the goaltender for the second U.S. goal. Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.J.) sealed the 3-0 victory in the final 22 seconds with an empty-net marker.
Goaltender Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) made eight saves to secure his fourth shutout in Team USA's last six gold-medal games.
With the victory, the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team has now won gold in three of the last four IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships. Today's victory also gave the United States its fifth championship in the last seven major international competitions, including the 2012 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships in Hamar, Norway; the 2012 World Sled Hockey Challenge in Calgary, Alberta; the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia; and the 2015 World Sled Hockey Challenge in Leduc, Alberta.
Notes: Nikko Landeros was named U.S. Player of the Game ... Josh Pauls was named Best Defenseman of the tournament as awarded by the Directorate ... The U.S. outshot Canada 21-8 ... Page led the U.S. in tournament points with 11 (6-5), setting a new Team USA record for most points in a world championship. His 19 career world championship points are also a U.S. record ...Declan Farmer tied Taylor Lipsett's record for most goals in a single world championship by a U.S. player with 6 ... Brody Roybal had a point in every U.S. game this season ... For the 2014-15 season, Farmer led the team in goals (10) and the team lead in points (10-11--21). Roybal led the team in assists (13) ... For tournament information, visit 2015sledworlds.com ... Dan Brennan, director of sled and inline national teams for USA Hockey, is serving as the general manager. Jeff Sauer is serving as head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team for the fourth season ... Additional staff members include team physician Mike Uihlein, athletic trainer Mike Cortese and equipment manager Joel Isaacson.