Powered by two goals from Brody Roybal, the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team made history Saturday, downing Canada 5-2 to claim an unprecedented third consecutive title and its sixth straight international championship at the World Sled Hockey Challenge at MacLauchlin Arena in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
Entering the gold-medal game undefeated in four games, Team USA was tested only once, a 2-1 overtime win Wednesday against host Canada. Saturday’s final began to unfold in much the same manner as the Canadians carried a 1-0 advantage into the first intermission.
But Team USA wasn’t going to let history repeat itself – at least not recent history. The Americans drew even 67 seconds into the second period when Kevin McKee fired the puck past Canadian goalkeeper Corbin Watson. It took only 22 more seconds for the U.S. to take the lead on a goal by Paul Schaus. Roybal contributed his first goal less than two minutes later, giving Team USA a 3-1 advantage just 3:02 into the period.
Canada pulled a goal back with 3:20 showing before the second intermission, but Roybal answered 39 seconds later with a power-play goal. Declan Farmer closed out the scoring with 38 seconds left in the period, making the score 5-2. The goal was Farmer’s eighth of the tournament, breaking a team record he shared with Nikko Landeros.
Steve Cash recorded seven of his 14 saves in the final period to secure the victory; he was named U.S. Player of the Game.
Along with his nine assists, Farmer had 17 points in the tournament. That total gave him tournament scoring honors for the third straight year as well as setting the record for points scored by a U.S. player at the World Sled Hockey Challenge.