UNITED STATES TOPS CANADA TO CLOSE PRELIMINARY ROUND
QUINTON AMUNDSON PARADISE, N.L. – Declan Farmer scored two goals, Noah Grove recorded three assists and Kevin McKee registered a goal and a helper to power the United States to a 4-1 victory over Canada on Wednesday night to conclude prelim play at the 2019 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup.
Rico Roman also scored for the U.S., which will duel against the fourth-ranked Czech Republic in the semifinals Thursday (12 p.m. NT).
Tyler McGregor (Forest, Ont.) replied with the lone goal for Canada, which will battle Russia in the second semifinal (7 p.m. NT).
Steve Cash made 10 saves to earn the win while Corbin Watson (Kingsville, Ont.) stopped 13 U.S. attempts in defeat.
Roman put the United States on the scoreboard first just under three minutes into the opening period by cutting into middle lane from the left wing and ripping a hard, high wrist shot by Watson.
Rob Armstrong (Erin, Ont.) nearly tied the game for Canada just two minutes later, but his floating release from the blue-line hit the cross-bar.
Both teams responded to the early scoring chances by clamping down defensively for the remaining portion of the stanza.
The U.S. outshot Canada 5-2 in the first 15 minutes.
Farmer expanded the American lead to 2-0 at the 4:41 mark of the second frame, beating Watson with a sharp-angle tip of Grove’s centring pass from the left corner.
Canada cut the deficit in half just 2:59 later on a man advantage as McGregor took advantage of a scramble just outside the U.S. crease with a snipe from the slot that connected with the top shelf.
Shots in a back-and-forth second period slightly favoured the U.S., 5-4.
The Americans restored their two-goal edge at 3:31 of the third period with McKee slamming the puck into a gaping Canadian cage after Grove’s initial shot got behind Watson.
The Canadians played with desperation in the attacking zone in a bid to cut into the deficit, particularly with Watson pulled for an extra attacker, but Cash denied every chance that came his way.
Farmer confirmed the victory with an empty-net goal with 1:12 remaining.
By securing this victory, the United States have now completed the preliminary round at the last six iterations of this competition without a single defeat.