UNITED STATES OFFENCE SHINES AGAINST CZECH REPUBLIC
PARADISE, N.L. – Josh Pauls finished with two goals and two assists and Jack Wallace notched a hat trick to power the United States to an 8-0 victory over the Czech Republic on Monday afternoon at the 2019 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup.
Brody Roybal chipped in one goal and one assist, David Eustace and Kevin McKee lit the lamp and Declan Farmer recorded two helpers for the U.S., which improved its record to 2-0-0-0 heading into its final preliminary-round match-up, a much-anticipated showdown against Canada on Wednesday night (7 p.m. NT).
Jen Lee was only called upon to make five saves for the shutout, which has yet to allow a goal in the tournanent.
While the United States did eventually erupt in the match, the first 12 minutes saw the American attackers get stymied by the acrobatic goaltending of Czech goaltender Michal Vapenka. The U.S. produced dangerous chances at a fast and furious clip, but Vapenka had the answer for the first 11 shots that came his way.
But the U.S. offence broke through with 2:44 left in the first as captain Pauls whistled a powerful drive from the deep slot into the top part of the Czech cage for a 1-0 lead.
The United States outshot the Czech Republic 13-2 in the first 15 minutes.
Wallace signaled that period two would belong to the American offence, beating Vapenka with a silky backhand deke just over a minute into the frame.
A victorious result would be confirmed just a few minutes later as the U.S. scored four goals in a 96-second span: Pauls started the blitz with a power-play goal at 3:48, Roybal struck 10 seconds later, Eustace extended the lead to 5-0 just 13 seconds after Roybal’s tally and Wallace capped the scoring spree at 5:24.
Wallace completed his hat trick with just four minutes to play in the second period, beating Vapenka on a clear-cut breakaway.
The United States outscored their Czech opponents 6-0 and outshot them 15-0 in the second period.
Martin Kudela replaced Vapenka in goal for the third period and he fared solidly by stopping five of six shots. McKee’s goal at the 8:11 mark was the only scoring of the final period.
The final shot count favoured the United States, 36-5.