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U.S. blanks Canada at Paralympics, will play for gold

Thursday, 03.13.2014 / 2:51 PM / News

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U.S. blanks Canada at Paralympics, will play for gold
The United States will play Russia for the gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Paralympics after defeating Canada 3-0 in the semifinal.

Forward Declan Farmer scored two goals and goalie Steve Cash made 11 saves to lead the United States Paralympic Sled Hockey team to a 3-0 victory against Canada in the semifinal round of the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games on Thursday at Shayba Arena in Russia.

The U.S. will look to make history Saturday when it faces host Russia in the gold-medal game at 1 p.m. ET (NBC). No team in the Paralympics sled hockey tournament has won back-to-back gold medals, and the United States, which lost 2-1 in Pool B preliminary-round action to Russia on Tuesday, will get that chance.

The United States lost to Russia holding a 23-10 shot advantage, including a 7-2 edge in the third period.

The Canadians, who entered the game as the top seed while outscoring the opposition 15-1 in three preliminary-round victories, will play Norway in the bronze-medal game Saturday. Russia defeated Norway 4-0 in the other semifinal.

The U.S. and Canada sled hockey teams were meeting in the Paralympic Games for the first time since 2002 and the third time overall. The U.S. beat Canada 5-1 in round-robin play in 2002 en route to winning a gold medal and the teams played a 1-1 tie in round-robin action at the 1998 Paralympics.

Farmer, a 16-year-old bilateral amputee from Tampa, Fla., has three goals and five points in his first year as a member of the U.S. National Sled Hockey team. He gave his team a 1-0 lead with five minutes remaining in the first period when he converted a feed from Josh Pauls. Brody Roybal was screening the Canadian goalie on the play.

The offensive line of Farmer, Roybal and Pauls has been the team's most effective in the Paralympics.

Farmer extended the lead to 2-0 when he ripped a shot from the right hash into the top left corner of the cage.

Cash, who earned his second shutout of the tournament, turned aside six shots in the opening period, and Canada outshot the U.S. 11-10.

Farmer set up the third goal when he blocked a shot attempt by Canada, won a race for the puck in the opposite end, and fed Pauls, who buried his attempt for a 3-0 lead.

The U.S. clogged the neutral zone and not allowing Canada much space to operate. Canada was awarded a power play with less than a minute remaining in the third when the U.S. was called for too many men and an apparent goal was waived off by the official because a Canada player interfered with Cash on the play.

In three seasons, U.S. coach Jeff Sauer has led his team to eight wins in 18 games against Canada in sled hockey.

Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres