INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. – The U.S. National Sled Team defeated Russia, 4-0, during the inaugural USA Hockey Sled Cup here tonight at the Extreme Ice Center. Team USA improves to 2-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) with a single round-robin game remaining against unbeaten Korea on Friday (Jan. 25).
"Our strong play in all three zones led to tonight's victory," said Jeff Sauer, head coach of the U.S. National Sled Team. "We capitalized on turnovers and then kept our defensive focus once we got the lead."
Following a scoreless first period, Team USA opened up a 2-0 lead during the first half of the second stanza. Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.J.) sped through the slot with the puck before leaving it behind for an uncovered Greg Shaw (Merritt Island, Fla.), who lifted the puck high into left corner of the net at 2:46. At 6:02, Kevin McKee (Davenport, Iowa) scooped up a loose puck at the Russian blue line, beat two defenders around the left side and scored low on goaltender Vladimir Kamantcev.
The U.S. boosted its lead to 3-0 on Taylor Lipsett's (Plano, Texas) rebound tally just 18 seconds into the third period. Nikko Landeros (Johnstown, Colo.) and Alex Salamone (Buffalo, N.Y.) received the assists. Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) capped the scoring with a breakaway goal at 10:24. Shaw created the chance by absorbing a Russian double team and dishing off to Farmer inside the offensive zone.
Goaltender Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) racked up 13 saves for the win. His counterpart on Russia had 31 stops.
Before tonight's game, NASCAR driver Joey Logano donated $15,000 to the USA Hockey Foundation.
The U.S. National Developmental Team lost to Korea today, 5-1.
On Friday, the U.S. National Team faces Korea at 6:50 p.m., in a rematch of the 2012 International Paralympic Committee World Championship gold medal game, which the U.S. won 5-1. At 4:10 p.m., the U.S. National Developmental Team opposes Russia.