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United States dominate China to advance to World Para Hockey gold medal game

Four-goal first period sets tone as U.S. goes on to 10-1 win in semifinal, to play for gold on Sunday night

Heading into the World Para Hockey Championship semifinal between the United States and China, there were plenty of questions as to just how the game would turn out.


Both teams had put together impressive showings in their respective round robins and were a combined 6-0, with goal differentials well into the digits on the positive side of things.


As it turns out, the United States looks like they’re just on another level right now.

The U.S. scored four goals in the first, added another four in the second and would go on to a 10-1 victory at the Moose Jaw Events Centre.

As a result, the United States will look to win their third straight world championship gold medal when they face the winner of Canada and Czechia on Sunday night.

“It was fun out there, I think the pace was real fast and boys came together and got the job done,” said United States forward Malik Jones. “We’re just enjoying the win right now and we’ll refocus and get ready for the gold medal game tomorrow.”

Jones was one of a handful of offensive standouts for the U.S., putting up two goals and five points. Declan Farmer had a hat trick and five points, while Brody Roybal picked up a three-goal game of his own.

Ben Musselman and Kevin McKee rounded out scoring for the U.S.

A major factor in the result, once again, was the Americans’ ability to simply roll three lines and see virtually no drop off from one shift to the next. That led to their crew being able to apply continuous pressure and take away any time China had to make plays,

As the contest progressed, China had to rush their chances more and more, lowering their effectiveness when they did get into the U.S. zone.

That was all by design, said U.S. head coach David Hoff.

“We want to be hard to play against, and not just physically but mentally as well,” he said. “Try and hold a conversation for a couple minutes straight and you’ll find it starts to grind, and it's the same with a shift. We really want to wear on people physically and mentally and that’s where getting fresh bodies out there makes a difference. We’ve done a great job of that all tournament and we’ll need to do it in the gold medal game as well.”

China, meanwhile, took the approach that many teams are taking in games against the U.S. this week -- use any opportunity you can to learn from the best in the world.

“This was our second time to play against Team USA, the first time was at the last Paralympics and the score was very similar to what we had today, so we wanted to learn from them,” said China forward Xu Jin Qiang. “This A Pool game is the top hockey and we always want to learn when we can from these teams.”

Wang Zhi Dong and Li Hong Guan scored for China.

Jenn Lee played the first two periods for the U.S. and had two saves, while Griffin Lamarre had three saves in the final 15 minutes. Ji Yan Zhao had 13 stops for China.

Now, it’s on to the medal games.

China will play for bronze against the loser of Czechia and Canada at 3 p.m. Sunday, and it’s a contest they will be putting a special emphasis on.

“We won a bronze medal the last Paralympics, but there might be some people questioning the ability of our team,” Xu said. “By bringing some hardware home, hopefully that’ll answer any question from people questioning our abilities.”

The United States will look to just keep on keeping on against their gold medal game opponent,

“Whoever we play, we’ll be looking to play our game and do what’s worked for us all week,” Jones said. “Hopefully that means we come home with the gold medal.”

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