The Dominating Giant: the USA Clearly Outplayed the IPH Team 9:1 at the Start of the IPH Cup

The opening game of the International Para Hockey Cup saw a battle between the USA and the IPH team. The IPH team is made up of the best para hockey players from Slovakia, Germany and Norway. The Americans entered the game with more action, leading 3:0 after the first ten minutes. However, the IPH team managed to reduce the score one minute before the end of the first period, changing the score to 3:1. Team USA picked up the tempo in the second period, and increased its lead to 9:1. There weren’t many exciting chances to be seen in the last period. The Americans claimed a high 9:1 win in the first game of the tournament.

The USA players got into the action right at the beginning of the game, but McKee missed the goal after a pass from Farmer. The USA got into the zone on several occasions but mostly missed the net. The American para hockey team celebrated at 04:45 when Malik Jones rode to the right side and shot, without much difficulty, past the goalkeeper – 1:0. Wallace could have made it 2:0 less than two minutes later, but he just missed the goal. Moments later, Musselman tried to score, but Lepáček was well aware and prepared. The USA representation didn’t have to wait for a goal for too long as DeQuebec passed the puck to Ben Musselman who sent it over the IPH team goalkeepers’ helmet – 2:0. Two minutes later, Nichols sent the puck to Jack Wallace, who made a superb move, coming into the zone from the right and firing the puck past the visiting goalkeeper. The overseas team increased its lead to 3:0. Lyngroth, on the other side, tried to shoot the puck at the goalpost, which was stopped, however, by the American defence. The IPH Team did manage to win a throw-in in front of the US goalkeeper and score a goal when Vaernes passed the puck to Audun Bakke, who swept it into the upper part of the goal – 3:1.

Lyngroth could have equalled the score in the 20th minute. The Norwegian player intercepted the American goalkeeper’s pass, however, he did not have time to go around the goal fast enough to score a goal. After that, it was solely the US team that shot one goal after another. Wallace’s shot was deflected behind the goal, Easley’s shot was high, and Pauls hit Lepáček’s glove from the right circle. The Americans went into defence less than 5 minutes after the start of the second period. Farmer and Roybal exchanged the puck several times and Brody Roybal finally shot the puck behind the back of the IPH goalkeeper – 4:1. Lepáček wasn’t capable to stop Rob Easley’s shot – 5:1. The USA didn’t buckle down and continued to push towards the goal, getting a five-goal lead in less than twenty seconds with David Eustace scoring another goal – 6:1. During the next throw in it was once again the home team that was more successful, quickly moving into the offensive zone. Jones sent the puck flying from the left side, and although Lepáček stopped the puck in front of the goal area, it wasn’t enough to stop Travis Dodson – 7:1. Pauls rushed into action, but the visiting defence team managed to stop him. At 26:30 a member of the IPH team, Lyngroth, was suspended from play and penalized for hooking. The American team did not, however, take advantage of their power play. Wallace and Misiewicz had the most chances to score, but this time Lepáček was able to manage the rebounds. Unfortunately, the IPH goalkeeper did not have time to react to Declan Farmer’s attempt, who got the puck between the goalkeeper’s hand and body a minute before the second siren went off – 8:1. Just before the end of the second period, Ben Musselman added the ninth goal for team USA, shooting into the middle of the goal, where Lepáček didn’t have time to move to – 9:1.

The final period was played at a leisurely pace after the American shootout

The American team saw a change in goalkeepers when McCoy replaced LaMarre at the beginning of the third period. The final period had a more leisurely tempo to it. The Americans spent most of the time in the offensive zone, but Lepáček was attentive. Bolton from the home team shot, Oeiseth quickly moved to the other side, but he couldn’t find a way around McCoy. The IPH team was then able to get to the goalposts again Oeiseth passed the puck to Vaernes, who shot out of bounds. Disvend was then sent to the penalty bench for holding the puck at the end of the third period, but at that point, the US team didn’t send out any more dangerous shots.

The IPH Team is coached by the Miroslav Dráb (SK) and Espen Hegde (NOR) duo.

Goals: 5. Jones (Misiewicz, Grove), 9. Musselman (DeQuebec, Zych), 11. Wallace (Nichols), 21. Roybal (Farmer), 23. Easley (Eustace), 23. Eustace (Pauls), 24. Dodson (Jones), 30. Farmer, 30. Musselman. – 14. Bakke (Vaernes). Suspension: 1:2. Power play: 0:0. Short-handed play: 0:0. Referees: Sorapera – Janda, Toth.

USA: LaMarre (41. McCoy) – Pauls (C), DeQuebec, Wallace, Eustace – Misiewicz, Dodson, Jones, Roybal, Bolton, Easley, Musselman, Zych, Farmer (A), Nichols, Witkowski, McKee, Woodke, Grove

IPH: Lepáček – Nordstoga, Audun, Ferenčík, Stašák, Lauenstein – Korman, Ligda (C), Joppa, Disveld, Hering, Rennhack, Vaernes, Oeiseth (A), Lyngroth

Text: Klára Bártková Photo: Radim Horák