U.S. downs Czech Republic to stay undefeated
VANCOUVER, B.C. - The U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team logged its second consecutive shutout victory as it topped the Czech Republic, 3-0, here this afternoon in its second preliminary-round game of the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
Alexi Salamone (Grand Island, N.Y.) notched his second straight multiple-point night with a goal and an assist, while Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) turned aside all six shots faced.
"We were able to generate chances throughout the night," said Ray Maluta, head coach of the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team. "Cash came up big a couple of times to keep the Czech Republic at bay, and our pressure was consistent."
The U.S. took a 1-0 lead midway through the opening period with its third power-play goal of the tournament. Following a faceoff win by Joe Howard (Kingston, Mass.), Salamone dropped a pass to Taylor Chace (Hampton Falls, N.H.) at the blue line. His long shot was turned aside by Czech Republic goalie Michal Vapenka, but Taylor Lipsett (Mesquite, Texas) collected the rebound and notched his third goal of the tournament.
Salamone gave Team USA a 2-0 lead with three minutes remaining in the second period. Starting from his own blue line, Salamone rushed through the neutral zone and weaved around a pair of Czech Republic defensemen to the right circle. His high wrist shot beat Vapenka to give the U.S. a two-goal cushion heading into the final frame.
The U.S. put the game out of reach less than four minutes into the third period. Team USA captain Andy Yohe (Bettendorf, Iowa) took a pass from Howard in the high slot and slid the puck to a waiting Jimmy Connelly (Galloway, N.J.) at the left circle. The defenseman fired a quick snap shot that beat Vapenka low.
The U.S. will secure a spot in the tournament's semifinal round later this evening should Japan register at least one point in its game against South Korea. Team USA (2-0-0-0) will next face off against Japan in both teams' third and final preliminary-round tilt Tuesday (March 16) at 5 p.m. PDT.
NOTES: Team USA went 1-for-3 on the power play, while the Czech Republic was 0-for-6 with the man advantage ... Following the game, members of the White House delegation congratulated the U.S. on its victory in Team USA's locker room ... In earlier action, Norway edged Italy, 2-1, while Canada topped Sweden, 10-1. Both Canada and Norway, who face off tomorrow in their final preliminary-round game, will advance to the tournament's semifinal round ... The U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team captured the bronze medal at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, and earned gold at the 2002 Paralympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah ... No team has won gold more than once in the four Paralympic Winter Games of which sled hockey has been a part (Sweden-1994; Norway-1998; United States-2002; Canada-2006) ... Full coverage of the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team, including a team roster, photos, features, and game notes are available at usahockey.com ... The 2010 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team, consisting of 15 of the 18 members of the 2009-10 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team, was named in December.
Scoring By Period
First Period - Scoring: 1, USA, Lipsett (Chace, Salamone), 7:53. Penalties: CZE, Klima (teeing), 6:28; USA, Howard (interference), 10:04; USA, Team (too-many-players), 13:22.
Second Period - Scoring: 2, USA, Salamone (unassisted), 12:01. Penalties: CZE, Berger (roughing), 3:19; USA, Chace (interference), 4:14; CZE, Berger (interference), 6:41.
Third Period - Scoring: 3, USA, Connelly (Yohe, Howard), 3:44. Penalties: USA, Yohe (delaying-the-game), 0:59; USA, Salamone (elbowing), 8:18; USA, Lipsett (interference), 13:05.
|Shots by Period||1||2||3||Total|
|USA, Cash 45:00||2-2||2-2||2-2||6-6|
|CZE, Vapenka 45:00||7-6||8-7||8-7||23-20|
Power Play: USA 1-3; CZE 0-6
Penalties: USA 6-12; CZE 3-6
Officials: Paul Matte (referee); Eric Dagenais (linesman), Kai Gunnar Thoeger-Andresen (linesman)
Team USA 2010 Paralympic Winter Games Schedule
March 13-20 - Vancouver, B.C.
|Sat., March 13||South Korea||W, 5-0|
|Sun., March 14||Czech Republic||W, 3-0|
|Tues., March 16||Japan||5 p.m.||ParalympicSport.tv|
|Thurs., March 18||Semifinals||12 p.m./7 p.m.|
|Fri., March 19||Bronze-Medal Game||7 p.m.||ParalympicSport.tv|
|Sat., March 20||Gold-Medal Game||12 p.m.||ParalympicSport.tv|