The first match of the International Para Hockey tournament was played at the Ostravar Arena at 15:00 by the six-time world champions and the IPH team, which is made up of players of many nationalities.
Until the tenth minute, it was a full-field hockey game with many chances on both sides, with the American offense being more dangerous and accurate; as evidenced by the 10:1 shot ratio. The most dangerous action was a solo breakaway by Brett Bolton, who was close to the defensive blue line and could have scored the opening goal after Ben Musselman’s hesitation with the puck. Patrik Sedláček was against, and as the time went on, he was getting under more pressure. He was defeated in the sixth minute when Jack Wallace squeezed through the crease between defenders and opened the scoring streak of the US team with a shot straight into the goal. Sedláček tried to reach out to the left post, but to no avail. Daniel Malloy challenged Nils Larch for a shot, but it hit the goalie. The IPH team played shorthanded at the end of the period and defended it well, but the American pressure didn’t waiver and Declan Farmer scored with less than half a minute left in the first period.
And just as the first period ended with a goal, the second period began also with a goal. The Americans took aim at the opponent’s goal right after the middle frame and Chris Douglas shot past Sedláček. In the fourth minute of the second period, the visiting IPH team had a numerical advantage. However, the strong championship team played offensively even when shorthanded and it was Patrik Sedláček who had to stop the play when an opposing teammate went after the puck. The Americans gained the offensive zone and a cross pass from Eustace to the right side to Jack Wallace made it 4-0. Then, the goalie from the Czech national team, who was on loan to the IPH team, made an unassisted save. A faceoff in the defensive zone proved fatal for the IPH team. Because they cashed in their fifth goal, when the defenders failed to keep an eye on Declan Farmer, who drove into the slot and scored under the top bar.
After the second intermission, visiting captain – Adam Dixon, put Rod Crane in an advantageous shooting position with a pass, but the breakaway didn’t end in a goal. The teams tussled for the puck in the third period, with the IPH offensive third playing mostly along the boards. The American defense didn’t let them do anything, while on the other side it was the other way around. In this period the American team shot ten times, but only with one puck in the net. But before that happened, Jen Lee could have lost his clean sheet in the eighth minute of the third period when he saved Ingo Kuhli-Lauentein’s shot in the thirteenth minute. The IPH team played the end of the third period shorthanded, which didn’t last long. At 44:01 Jack Wallace completed his hat-trick and the six-time World Champions won the opening game of the IPH Cup 2023 6-0.
The International Para Hockey Cup 2023 will take place with the support of the National Sports Agency, the Moravian-Silesian Region, the Statutory City of Ostrava and partners Kaufland and Komerční banka.
Text: Gabriela Juříková Translation: Adela Katy Dawso Photos: Vladimír Pryček