(L-R) Josh Pauls, Jack Wallace and Joshua Misiewicz react in the second period during the Group A preliminary round against South Korea at the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on March 6, 2022 in Beijing.
A five-goal first period, including a hat trick from Jack Wallace, propelled the U.S. sled hockey team to a 9-1 victory against South Korea at the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
Declan Farmer added five points (2 goals, 3 assists), Malik Jones also scored twice and Team USA earned a spot in the semifinal after securing the top spot in Group A with its second consecutive victory in the preliminary round. Joshua Misiewicz and Brody Roybal also lit the lamp for the U.S.
Evan Nichols, the youngest player on the U.S. roster at 17 years old, recorded three assists in his Paralympic debut after being scratched for the opening game against Canada. Captain Josh Pauls also recorded three assists.
"To have a team with this many good players on it’s a privilege to play (on),” Wallace said. “The selflessness that has to come with that, to be willing to relinquish some of your ice time to make sure everyone is getting as much ice time as possible, everyone on this team has bought into that."
Wallace completed his first-period hat trick with a rising shot from the slot shortly after the first U.S. power play expired at 13:53 to give the U.S. a 5-0 advantage.
The 23-year-old defenseman also scored the first two goals of the game in a span of 4:33. Wallace opened the scoring with a snipe from the left face-off circle that rang off the post before finding the back of the net. Misiewicz set up the game’s first goal with a beautiful cross-ice pass to set up his teammate.
Wallace doubled the United States' lead as the New Jersey native glided across the slot and roofed a wrist shot at 8:58 of the first period. Travis Dodson assisted on the play.
“I love how tenacious this team is,” head coach David Hoff said. “The first few minutes may not have been as dominant as we expected, but this team just won’t let off. They always stick with it until things start clicking on our end and we definitely saw that today.”
Griffin LaMarre also made his tournament debut when he replaced Jen Lee between the pipes to start the third period.