UNITED STATES BLANKS RUSSIA TO OPEN PARA CUP
PARADISE, N.L. – Declan Farmer scored two goals and Brody Roybal registered a goal and an assist to drive the United States to a 3-0 victory over Russia to open the 2019 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup on Sunday afternoon.
Steve Cash was only called upon to make four stops to earn the shutout win as the U.S. gave very little breathing room in the attacking zone for the Russians. After picking up two shots in the first period, Russia did not manage an attempt on goal until the midway point of the third period.
Evgenii Plotnikov delivered a solid performance between the pipes for Russia in defeat, making 16 saves on 19 shots.
Despite the opening frame ending in a scoreless draw, Russia and the United States fashioned a high-event first period as the speed and anticipation abilities of both sides generated a slew of dangerous scoring chances at both sides of the ice as well as some thundering checks along the boards.
Period two was the deciding stanza as the United States secured two of its three tallies on the back of a dominant 7-0 edge on the shot clock.
Roybal drew first blood at 2:16 with a top-shelf shot on a breakaway, and Farmer found the back of the net for a shorthanded goal with 2.9 seconds on the clock by tipping in a pass from Roybal on an odd-man break.
The U.S. continued to carry the play in the third period as it outshot Russia 7-2. Farmer lit the lamp for a second time with just 46 seconds remaining in the game with a lightning-quick snipe that sailed low past Plotnikov for a 3-0 lead.
This victory extends the United States' winning streak in tournament-opening games at this competition - known as the World Sledge Hockey Challenge until 2017 - to nine. The last time the Americans endured a defeat in their first game was a 3-1 setback against Canada at London, Ont., back in April 2011.