The USA kept on course for a record third consecutive Paralympic title in Para ice hockey by defeating South Korea, 8-0, on Tuesday (13 March) to win Group B and finish the preliminary round undefeated at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
US forward Josh Misiewicz scored his first two career Paralympic goals, seven years after losing both of his legs in an IED explosion while serving in the US Marines in Afghanistan.
“It felt good to finally score because I had chances in the two games before but wasn’t able to capitalize on them,” Misiewicz said. “It’s been an overwhelming experience for me at my first Paralympics, but once we got on the ice it changed and we focused solely on hockey and winning the goal. We are a quick team and have been working so hard during the entire season to get to where we are now. ”
Forward Brody Roybal started the American scoring surge 4:51 into the game on a power play, lifting the puck from the left circle, past two defenders and the goaltender into the top of the net. Roybal’s teenage partner in crime, Declan Farmer, doubled the US lead less than two minutes later with a shot from the same exact spot in the left circle. Misiewicz then scored twice in a matter of nearly two minutes, with his second score coming on the power play, and Farmer completed his hat-trick with a pair of shorthanded goals 1:10 apart to close out the first period. With his third goal of the day, Farmer tied Sylvester Flis for the most career Paralympic goals by a US skater with 11.
Following a scoreless second period, 3:36 into the final frame, another former US Marine and Purple Heart recipient, Travis Dodson, finished a feed from Rico Roman to tally his third goal at the Gangneung Hockey Centre. With under five minutes to play in the contest, Roybal connected for the final score of the game.
Roybal and Farmer now lead all skaters with eight goals at these Paralympics, and the USA is now 6-0 all-time against South Korea in Para ice hockey.
Four-time Paralympian Steve Cash recorded the shutout, making four saves, while Jae-Woong Lee and Man-Gyun Yu tallied 12 and four saves, respectively.
“It has been a while actually since we went against the US. They definitely seemed a lot quicker today,” said South Korean forward Ju Seung-Lee, who saw 20 minutes of ice time. “Also, it looked like they had prepared immensely for this Paralympic stage. We expected them to be strong, but they were pushing us non-stop. We focused on defence as much as possible. Nevertheless, the game was slightly disappointing.”
With the win, the USA claimed first place in Group B with nine points, and South Korea finished second with five points. The USA will face European silver medallists Italy in the semi-finals on Thursday (15 March), and South Korea will challenge world champions Canada.
Every competition as well as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies can be watched live right here on the International Paralympic Committee’s website. Highlights of each day’s action will also be made available.