Declan Farmer celebrates a goal scored by Joshua Misiewicz during the sled hockey semi finals match between Team USA and China during the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on March 11, 2022 in Beijing.
BEIJING – Six days after breaking the record for most points by a U.S. skater in the Paralympic Winter Games, Declan Farmer became the all-time U.S. assists leader at the Paralympics on Friday.
Six-point performances by both 24-year-old Farmer and 23-year-old Brody Roybal vaulted the U.S. sled hockey team to an 11-0 victory over host nation China in the semifinals of the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, securing the squad a spot in its fourth consecutive Paralympic final. Team USA and Canada will meet Sunday in a rematch of the 2018 gold-medal game, which the U.S. won in overtime.
Farmer finished the game with two goals and four assists in the semifinal win, while Roybal tallied four goals and two assists.
“To date this was our best game in the tournament, but I think our best is still yet to come,” said Roybal, already a two-time Paralympic champ for Team USA. “It was really cool to play China in Beijing and have all those fans out there cheering. That was a really special opportunity for us.”
In its first-ever meeting with China in sled hockey, Team USA’s 11 goals on the night tied the record for the most ever by a team in a Paralympic sled hockey semifinal.
The U.S. struck first 5:23 into the game at the National Indoor Stadium as Roybal led an American charge into the crease, swatting the puck into the net off a helper from Farmer. Just 32 seconds later, Roybal found the net once again, again assisted by Farmer, to double Team USA’s lead. With the helper, Farmer surpassed Joe Howard’s U.S. Paralympic assists record (15).
Later in the period, Roybal’s fellow Chicagoan, former U.S. Marine Josh Misiewicz, added his third goal in Beijing, and then Roybal hit a rocket himself to the top shelf to wrap up his first-period hat trick. Farmer recorded assists on both scores.
Farmer, like Roybal, made his Paralympic debut as a teenager in 2014, and the two have developed into a dynamic offensive duo over the years.
“Brody and I have been really close for 10-plus years now, even before we made the national team,” said Farmer, a native of Tampa, Florida, “so we’ve built that chemistry over time and know where each other are on the ice.”