SOCHI, Russia -- Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) had a pair of goals, Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) collected a single tally and added an assist and defenseman Nikko Landeros (Johnstown, Colo.) notched three assists to help the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team begin the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games with a 5-1 victory over Italy today at Shayba Arena.
Late in a tightly contested opening stanza -- one that saw both teams generate chances early -- Team USA was able to break through for the game's first goal. While on the power play, Farmer gathered the puck on the left side of the slot and beat Italian goaltender Santino Stillitano with a quick shot at 13:45 to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead.
Neither team found the back of the net again until 11:12 of the second period when Roybal grabbed a rebound and tucked it into the top corner for a 2-0 lead.
Seconds after a tough stick save by Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.), Josh Sweeney (Phoenix, Ariz.) capitalized on a turnover in Italy's zone 3:04 into the third period. Sweeney had a semi-breakaway from the right side and reached around the goalie to push the puck inside the left post.
In the final five minutes, an Italian goal was sandwiched between a pair of U.S. markers. Roybal buried his second of the game after Team USA exited its own end with speed and made a nice passing play on the rush. Then, with just five seconds left in the contest, Paul Schaus (Buffalo, N.Y.) batted home a rebound to close the scoring.
Cash stopped all nine shots he faced in 40:18 of action. Jen Lee (San Francisco, Calif.) made two saves on three shots.
The U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team will play its next preliminary-round game tomorrow (March 9) when it squares off against South Korea at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Notes: Brody Roybal and Declan Farmer became the first- and second-youngest Americans to score a goal at the Paralympic Games. Roybal is 15 years old and Farmer is 16 years old ... Goaltender Steve Cash has yet to allow a Paralympic goal against in his career. His shutout streak spans three Paralympic Games and 256:20 of game action.
Starting with the upcoming season, USA Hockey is launching a new online curriculum in our Officiating Education Program. In addition to the standard registration requirements, including application, open and closed book testing and attendance at a USA Hockey Officiating Seminar, every official must complete the online material prior to receiving their card and crest for 2014-15.
The online curriculum is designed to enhance educational experience with accurate and consistent officiating information. The online modules will be broken down into three categories. The first two requirements will include general and level-specific presentations. The third category will have elective courses from a variety of topics such as positioning, procedures, penalty criteria and the mental game. These electives will be level-specific and allow you to hone your officiating skills in areas you select.
The length of each presentation will vary depending on content and focus. The majority of the presentations will fall in the 5- to 10-minute range, followed by a short quiz reviewing the content. The entire online curriculum will take 3-5 hours to complete, depending on the level of the official. The in-person seminar each official will be required to attend will be abbreviated and designed to supplement the material presented in the online curriculum.
Instructions on accessing the online seminar will be sent to you upon receiving your USA Hockey application. The curriculum will be accessed through your USAHockey.com profile and can be completed at your leisure, meaning you can log out and log back in to pick up where you left off. Some presentations are designed to be viewed before attending the seminar as a means to improve the overall seminar experience. These will be highlighted for your consideration.
Officials will find this new system to be beneficial and it will make your overall USA Hockey experience a more valuable one. Let’s get the season off to a great start!