U.S. CRUISES PAST KOREA TO OPEN GOLD MEDAL DEFENCE AT WSHC

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Kevin McKee

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Kevin McKee and Jack Wallace scored two goals apiece, helping the United States blank Korea 8-0 in the tournament opener Sunday at the 2017 World Sledge Hockey Challenge.

Declan Farmer added a goal and three assists for the Americans, the three-time defending gold medallists who have now won 16 consecutive games at the tournament, dating back to a gold medal game loss to Canada in 2013.

The U.S. started early, with Farmer going to the left hand to beat Korean goaltender Man Gyun Yu just 2:48 in before McKee slipped a shot under Yu 1:25 later to double the advantage.

Tyler Carron made it a three-goal game with an unassisted buzzer-beater at the end of the first period, gathering in a loose puck on the sideboards and snapping a quick shot over the shoulder of Yu.

The Americans held Korea without a shot on goal in the opening frame, including a seven-minute power play for the Paralympic hosts. Final shots favoured the U.S. 35-8.

Wallace got his first goal less than two minutes into the second period, tapping in a rebound after he broke in with Farmer on a two-on-none, and Adam Page found himself all alone in front of Yu late in the stanza to make it a 5-0 game after two.

That was all for Yu, who was replaced by Jae Woong Lee to start the third period after allowing five goals on 26 shots in a busy 30 minutes.

McKee greeted Lee with the sixth American goal just 88 seconds into the final frame off a scramble in front of the net.

Wallace converted the U.S. touchdown at 8:59 of the third, sliding out from behind the net and sneaking a shot past Lee with a quick under-the-sled move, before Billy Hanning got a point shot past the Korean goaltender just 34 seconds later to cap the scoring.

Steve Cash was perfect in the American goal, turning away all eight shots he faced to earn the shutout.

The U.S. is back in action Monday afternoon when it takes on Italy (12 p.m. AT), before the Koreans take on Canada in the night-cap (7 p.m. AT).

Player Of Game United States – 8 Jack Wallace Korea – 44 Hae Man Lee

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