U.S. Defeats Japan at 2008 World Sledge Hockey Challenge

Nov. 20, 2008, 3:52 p.m. (ET)
CHARLOTTETOWN, Prince Edward Island – The U.S. National Sled Hockey Team defeated Japan, 4-1, here tonight at the 2008 World Sledge Hockey Challenge at the CARI Complex. Four different players scored for Team USA, including Andy Yohe (Bettendorf, Iowa) and Taylor Lipsett (Mesquite, Texas), who each notched a goal and an assist in the U.S. victory.

"This was a strong game for our players and it showcased the depth of our team," said Ray Maluta, head coach for Team USA. "We were able to run three lines from start to finish and that shows the growth of the guys' play and is a measuring stick for the team's development."

Yohe gave the United States an early lead when he notched a power-play goal off a feed from Lipsett at 3:35 of the opening period. On a two-on-one rush, Lipsett beat a defenseman and faked a shot to freeze the Japanese goaltender Shinobu Fukushima, before sending a pass to Yohe, who tapped the puck in the open net. Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) stopped all five shots he faced in the period, as Team USA held the 1-0 lead after 15 minutes.

Lipsett fired a shot from the right side and over the shoulder of Fukushima to put Team USA up 2-0 at 4:21 of the second stanza. Bubba Torres (Riverside, N.J.) tallied a similar goal at 8:33 to give the U.S. squad a three-goal lead. Japan got on the board with a minute left in the period, as Team USA held a 3-1 lead at the second intermission.

Tim Jones (Mt. Ephraim, N.J.) scored on a backhand shot at 7:26 of the third period to account for the 4-1 final score.

The U.S. National Sled Hockey Team returns to action tomorrow (November 20), when it faces Norway at 3:30 p.m. EST in its third game of the 2008 World Sledge Hockey Challenge.

NOTES: Andy Yohe earned U.S. Player of the Game honors ... Team USA outshot Japan, 18-13 ... Teams participating in the 2008 World Sledge Hockey Challenge include Canada, Japan, Norway and the United States ... The 17 players on the U.S. roster represent nine different states ... Maluta is assisted by Bill Corbo, Jr. ... More information on the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team can be found here.


Scoring By Period

USA 1-2-1--4 
JPN 0-1-0--1

First Period - Scoring: 1, USA, Yohe (Lipsett), 3:35 (pp). Penalties: JPN, Takahashi (hooking), 2:02; JPN, Takahashi (holding), 10:17; USA, Jones (holding), 13:52.

Second Period - Scoring: 2, USA, Lipsett (Pauls, Hannah), 4:21; 3, USA, Torres (Pauls, Yohe), 8:33; 4, JPN, Yoshikawa (Annaka, Sudo), 13:59. Penalties: None.

Third Period - Scoring: 5, USA, Jones (Page, Manns), 7:26. Penalties: None.

Shots by Period

USA 5-5-8--18
JPN 5-4-4--13

Goaltenders (SH/SV)

USA, Cash, 45:00 5/5-4/3-4/4--13/12
JPN, Fukushima 45:00 5/4-5/3-8/7--18/14

Power Play: USA 1-2; JPN 0-1
Penalties: USA 1-2; JPN 2-4
Referee: Mike Annear; Linesmen: Richard Johnson, Jeff Heron

Team USA 2008 World Sledge Hockey Challenge Schedule & Results
November 18-22 - Charlottetown, PEI - CARI Complex

Date Opponent Time (Local/EST)/Result

Tue., Nov. 18 Canada L, 1-3
Wed., Nov. 19 Japan W, 4-1
Thu., Nov. 20 Norway 4:30 p.m./3:30 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 22 Third-Place Game noon/11:00 a.m.
Championship Game 4:00 p.m./3:00 p.m.