Team USA beats Canada at the World Para Ice Hockey Championships
By Stuart Lieberman
The USA won their record-tying fourth world title on Saturday against Canada at the World Para Ice Hockey Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic, after Brody Roybal scored the game-winning goal in an overtime thriller to give his team the 3-2 victory.
Roybal, playing in his third World Championships at just 20 years old, collected the perfect pass from star forward Declan Farmer to give USA the win 5:08 into the overtime period.
“It’s an incredible feeling, but I have to give it to my teammates as we were working so hard for basically five minutes straight out there in that overtime,” Roybal said. “Declan spotted me the perfect pass, and I just had to put it away.”
The world title comes just a year after the USA won a record-extending third consecutive and fourth overall Paralympic title, and they have now won four of the last six World Championships. For Canada, it was their ninth podium finish at the World Championships in 10 appearances.
Following a scoreless first period, Canada’s dual-sport phenom Liam Hickey caught a carefully crafted pass from captain Tyler McGregor and tipped it into the net for a power-play score.
The USA responded less than two minutes later when their captain Josh Pauls weaved through a trio of defenders to the crease for a goal to even the score. With less than five minutes to go in the period, Canadian defender Rob Armstrong fought his way through a pack of players, bouncing the puck of goaltender Steve Cash’s stick and into the net to put Canada back on top.
With 3:26 to go in the third period, PyeongChang 2018 hero Farmer swirled around the net, grabbed the puck and shoveled it past Dominic Larocque to tie the game and send it to overtime. He then connected with Roybal for the golden goal in the extra period.
Cash was the winning goaltender with eight saves, while Larocque stopped the puck 19 times.
Ostrava has historically been very kind to the USA, who won their first-ever world title here back in 2009 when the city hosted the World Championships for the first time.
“It was the most dramatic way to finish a tournament, let alone the World Championships,” Farmer said. “This was the biggest game of the year. Even though the Czechs weren’t playing, the people of Ostrava really came out in numbers tonight to support us and it was a really fun atmosphere.”
The Czech Republic’s Michael Geier was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the World Championships after notching seven goals and four assists in front of sold-out crowds for the host nation.
Canada’s Larocque was named Best Goaltender and Hickey was Best Defenseman, while Farmer from the USA was Best Forward.
You can catch videos, highlights and results from the World Championships on the Ostrava 2019 website https://www.paralympic.org/ostrava-2019