TORONTO – Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.J.) scored twice and Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) recorded three points to help the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team defeat Russia, 4-1, in the semifinals of the 2013 World Sledge Hockey Challenge here today.
“I was pleased with our game, and we played better than we did yesterday against Canada,” said head coach Jeff Sauer. “I thought we had a much better start today than we did against Canada, but the bottom line is Russia is a good team that plays very smart hockey. I was pleased with how we adjusted to that style of play, scored some goals and got the victory.”
After a scoreless first period in which the United States held a 6-2 advantage in shots on goal but couldn’t find the back of the net, Pauls wasted little time changing that trend in the middle frame.
Just 19 seconds into the second stanza, Farmer knocked a puck to Pauls in the neutral zone, sending him in on a breakaway. Pauls deked, moved to his right and fired a shot off the crossbar and in to give Team USA a 1-0 lead.
Paul Schaus (Buffalo, N.Y.) doubled the U.S. lead when he got a stick on a rebound in the crease at 7:33 of the second. After a Josh Sweeney (Phoenix, Ariz.) attempt was stopped, Schaus won a race to the loose puck in the crease and pushed it past Russian goaltender Mikhail Ivanov.
Then, just under four minutes later, Pauls and Farmer connected again to boost the Team USA lead to 3-0. Farmer worked the play behind the Russia net and left a drop pass for Pauls at the side of the goal. Pauls got to the edge of the crease and slipped the puck in before Ivanov could get back to his post.
Farmer added an insurance marker – a power-play tally 5:33 into the final period – with help from Taylor Chace (Hampton Falls, N.H.) to close the Team USA scoring.
United States goaltender Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) started the game in net, stopping all 12 shots he faced. Jen Yung Lee (San Francisco, Calif.) relieved Cash with 5:14 remaining in regulation and made two saves.
The U.S. National Sled Hockey Team will next play Saturday night against either Canada or Korea in the World Sledge Hockey Challenge championship game. Puck-drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.
|Dec. 1||Russia||W, 2-1|
|Dec. 2||Korea||W, 5-0|
|Dec. 4||Canada||L, 1-4|
March 27, 2017 | When USA Hockey implemented its American Development Model in 2009, one element of the nationwide age-appropriate training blueprint sparked more debate than any other: cross-ice hockey for 8U players. In the years since, an abundance of evidence, both data-driven and anecdotal, has proven the developmental advantages of cross-ice hockey.
This week, Hockey Canada announced that it too will introduce its players to the game through cross-ice play beginning in 2017-18.
“Re-sizing the playing surface to cross-ice or half-ice means more puck touches, which result in more chances to practice puck control and shooting, as well as overall more movement and motor skill-development – twisting, turning, balance, coordination, agility,” said Paul Carson, vice-president of membership development for Hockey Canada, in a release today. “Their field-of-play matches their size, and these players hone in on their skill-development in a way that larger ice surfaces just aren’t conducive to.”
The Grassroots Show on Ottawa’s TSN 1200 weighed in on the decision. Click the audio link below to hear how Canada is embracing cross-ice hockey for the coming season and beyond.
Tom Renney, president and CEO of Hockey Canada, appeared on the Grassroots Show to discuss the nationwide shift to cross-ice hockey, beginning this fall for 5- and 6-year-olds and expanding to all of Canada's Novice (8U) level in 2018-19.
“When you see 10 or 12 or 14 or 16 kids out on the ice in between periods and they’re playing 200-by-85 and 3 or 4 kids touch the puck in that whole six minutes, yet there’s people in the stands clapping and thinking it’s wonderful, I just can’t help but think about the 95 percent of the children that didn’t even touch the puck or get from one end of the rink to the other and I ask myself what are we doing when the opportunity is certainly there to have 30 kids on the ice playing cross-ice and everyone is having a much better opportunity to touch the puck, skate a shorter distance and really play. It just boggles my mind,” said Renney.
“We completely embrace, at the Initiation level and the Novice level, cross-ice hockey and we have mandated that in the Initiation program and we will mandate it across the country in Novice hockey.
“This is about the pure enjoyment of the game, and your first connection with it has to be something that’s pure fun, on a surface of play that is conducive to much more participation and joy.”