Team USA defeats Norway 3-1 at World Sledge Hockey Challenge

By USA Hockey | Dec. 02, 2012, 6 p.m. (ET)

CALGARY, Alberta – Rico Roman (San Antonio, Texas) registered two assists and player of the game honors as the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team defeated Norway, 3-1, in its first game at the 2012 World Sledge Hockey Challenge here today at the WinSport Canada Ice Complex.

"It's a good way to start the tournament," said Jeff Sauer, head coach of the U.S. National Sled Team. "This is a much better start than we had a year ago in terms of where this team is. I'm very pleased."

Norway began the scoring late in the first period on a power-play goal at 13:44.

In the second stanza, Team USA applied pressure quickly and registered five shots in the first two minutes of action. At the 9:46 mark, Kevin McKee (Davenport, Iowa) netted the equalizer. After U.S. captain Taylor Chace (Hampton Falls, N.H.) was stopped on back-to-back shots, McKee collected the rebound and fired the puck low into the net. Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.Y.) assisted on the play.

Josh Sweeney (Phoenix, Ariz.) scored the go-ahead goal for the U.S. just 2:28 into the final frame. While shorthanded, Sweeney collected a pass from Roman and drove hard to the net and deked Norwegian goaltender Kristian Buen to give Team USA a 2-1 lead. Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) secured the win in the closing seconds with his first career goal.

U.S. goaltender Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) made five saves in the victory, while Buen made 21 stops for Norway.

The U.S. will return to action at the 2012 World Sledge Hockey Challenge Monday (Dec. 3), against Japan at 9 p.m. EST. 

For complete World Sledge Hockey Challenge coverage, click here.

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