U.S. National Sled Hockey Team advances to championship game of World Sledge Hockey Challenge

By Brian Smith | Dec. 06, 2012, 6 p.m. (ET)

CALGARY, Alberta – The U.S. National Sled Team advanced to the championship game of the 2012 World Sledge Hockey Challenge with a 4-1 win over Norway here today at the WinSport Canada Ice Complex. Daniel McCoy (Cheswick, Pa.) scored two goals and picked up player of the game honors for the U.S.

"I was very pleased today," said Jeff Sauer, head coach of the U.S. National Sled Team. "Offensively we were able to put the put on the net. I was pleased with the win. Now we're playing for a championship and that's what it's all about."

Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.Y.) opened the scoring at 12:38 of the first period. Pauls cycled in the right corner, exchanging passes with Greg Shaw (Merrit Island, Fla.) and Alexi Salamone (Buffalo, N.Y.), before breaking free in the slot and scoring glove-side. Just 19 seconds later, Kevin McKee (Davenport, Iowa) gave the U.S., a 2-0 lead with assists to Salamone and Nikko Landeros (Johnstown, Colo.).

Less than five minutes into the second stanza, Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) connected with McCoy to put the U.S. up by three. Farmer carried the puck into the Norwegian zone, circled back along the boards and found McCoy open in the slot for the tally. Norway responded on the power play at the 8:46 mark, cutting the U.S. lead to 3-1.

In the final frame, the U.S. continued its offensive pressure, out-shooting Norway 10-3. At 11:23, McCoy notched his second goal to secure the win for the United States.

Team USA goaltender Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) made seven saves in the victory, while Kristian Buen turned in a 36-stop performance for Norway.

The U.S. will now face the winner of tonight's contest between Canada and Japan in the championship game Saturday (Dec. 8), at 7 p.m. EST

For complete World Sledge Hockey Challenge coverage, click here.

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