The 2022 Winter Paralympics have officially kicked off and Team USA has already set out to impress.
The U.S. sled hockey team reigned supreme after securing a shutout victory, 5-0, during their opening game against Canada.
Rookie Malik Jones scored his first international goal, while three-time Paralympian Declan Farmer landed a four-point performance, making him the all-time leader in Paralympic points for the United States.
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Captain Josh Pauls scored Team USA’s first point after being assisted by Farmer in the first 5:44 into the contest. This marked Pauls’ second goal and 13th point overall in his four Paralympic appearances.
Farmer assisted Brody Roybal for another point towards the end of the first period. This marks the 20th point of his career following his unbelievable Sochi performance when he was just a mere 15-year-old.
Jones, born without shin bones, secured his second goal in the second period for Team USA. He made history as only the second Black athlete to represent the United States at the Paralympic Games.
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The fourth U.S. goal came from former marine Josh Misiewicz, who previously had a 10-point performance in the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.
In the final period, Farmer scored the U.S. their fifth goal, securing the 5-0 shutout against their Canadian rivals. The U.S. sled hockey team has yet to lose a Paralympic game since their loss to Russia in the preliminary round at the Sochi Games in 2014.
This is no surprise, considering Team USA entered the Games as the No. 1 favorite following their world champion and previous Paralympic wins. The U.S. sled hockey team is the reigning Paralympic champions, following their captivating comeback win against South Korea in the 2018 Pyeongchang Games. The U.S. is the dominant sled hockey country after having won three consecutive Paralympic gold medals.
Team USA is composed of both returnees and rookies. Ralph DeQuebec, Travis Dodson, Declan Farmer, Noah Grove, Jen Lee, Kevin McKee, Josh Misiewicz, Josh Pauls, Rico Roman, Brody Roybal, Jack Wallace are the returnees. David Eustace, Mailk Jones, Griffin LaMarre, Evan Nichols, Joseph Woodke and Kyle Zych are the rookies.
Team USA will return to the ice in their second and final preliminary round against South Korea, the reigning bronze medal champions. The match is set to begin at 12:05 a.m. ET on Sunday on the USA Network.