With the 2015 world sledge hockey challenge having started last night in Leduc, Alberta, the United States edged past Russia 3 – 2 in a match that was a repeat of the 2014 Winter Paralympics sledge hockey gold medal match. The contest came down to the final minutes, with the game tied 2 – 2. At 1:45, American Declan Farmer scored to put his team ahead 3 – 2, with the Russians unable to answer back as the remaining time ticked away.
The United States’s goalkeeper Steve Cash finished the game with 18 saves on 20 attempts, while his counter part Vladimir Kamanstev had 17 saves on 19 shots. Brody Roybal and Kevin McKee scored the United States’s other two goals. Russians Evgeny Petrov and Vasily Varlakov each scored a goal in their team’s loss.
Jeff Sauer, Team USA’s national team coach, was quoted by The Canadian Press as saying, “It was an exciting first game, not just for the tournament, but for our season in general,” said U.S. coach Jeff Sauer. “Our newcomers learned a lot today against a strong Russian team. We’re glad to get the win and ready to improve next game.”
For the Russians, Canadians and United States, this competition is a warm up for the 2015 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships A-Pool, which get are scheduled to get underway on April 24 and run until May 2. The United States has been put into Group B with Russia, Italy and Germany. Canada is in Group A with the Czech Republic, Norway, and Japan.
Later today, Russia will play Canada while the United States is scheduled to take on South Korea. In the competition first match, Canda defeated South Korea 8 – 0.