U.S. TO DEFEND GOLD AFTER EDGING RUSSIA IN WSHC SEMIFINAL
BRIDGEWATER, N.S. – Brody Roybal scored the game-winning goal midway through the third period, allowing the United States to sneak past Russia 2-1 on Thursday in the first semifinal at the 2016 World Sledge Hockey Challenge.
With the win, the U.S. will defend its gold medal against the winner of the Canada-Korea semifinal in Saturday’s final (5 p.m. AT/1 p.m. PT, TSN).
The Americans got the scoring started 4:10 into the first period when Kevin McKee found Declan Farmer, who roofed a shot over Russian netminder Evgenii Plotnikov for his tournament-leading sixth goal in four games.
Despite the U.S. outshooting Russia 8-3 in the first period – and 16-7 through the first two – that would be the only American goal in the opening 30 minutes, thanks in large part to Plotnikov.
The Russians got even at the seven-minute mark of the middle frame; defenceman Vadim Selyukin benefitted from a failed clearing attempt by the Americans, beating goaltender Steve Cash to tie the game.
Neither team generated much offence in the third period – the U.S. held a 4-2 advantage in shots on goal – but Roybal netted the winner at 8:10, taking a pass from Nikko Landeros before blasting a shot under the glove of Plotnikov.
The game was largely played at five-on-five, with the Russians getting two chances on the power play to the Americans’ one; both teams went without a goal with the man advantage.
The Russians will face the loser of the Canada-Korea semifinal for bronze on Saturday (1 p.m. AT).