Lancaster’s Adam Page scored two goals and added an assist to lead Team USA to a 6-0 semifinal victory over Norway on Friday at the IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships at HarborCenter.
The United States advanced to a gold-medal showdown with Canada at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
The Western New Yorkers on Team USA gave a crowd of 906 a lot to cheer about. The 23-year-old Page was named Player of the Game. Buffalo native and Marine Corps veteran Paul Schaus also scored a goal.
“It’s pretty special,” Page said. “Some of my family never has been able to see me play at this level, at a tournament of this magnitude.”
Page has won gold medals for the United States at the last two Paralympic Games, in Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014. He joined the U.S. team as a 15-year-old, and this is his fifth world championship tournament.
He’s leading Team USA with 10 points in four games, and he’s tied for the team lead in goals with five.
“Adam had a great game tonight,” said U.S. coach Jeff Sauer. “He has really righted himself physically. Now he can shoot with both hands. And with a tremendous amount of physical training, he’s got himself in a situation where he’s one of the top forwards in the world in terms of physicalness and skill. He can shoot the puck through the boards.”
Page’s hard shot led to a goal that gave Team USA a 4-0 lead in the second period. He banged a blast off the left post. It caromed across the crease and was poked into the net by Joshua Misiewicz.
Five minutes later, Page broke up the left side of the ice and whipped a sharp slap shot just inside the left post with 1.6 seconds left in the period.
“I was surprised at how much time I actually had,” Page said. “I took the time to look up and see how many seconds I had left. They kind of had the goalie screen and I was just trying to put it on net and see what happened.”
Early in the third period, Page took a pass from Misiewicz in the middle of the offensive zone and whipped a wrist shot high over the Norwegian goalie.
“We moved the puck around really well,” Page said. “It was probably one of the best shifts we had on the power play for our line.
“This tournament I’ve definitely felt the best I’ve ever felt,” said Page, who was born with spina bifida, which left him paralyzed from the kneecap down since birth. “But I think I still have another step my game can get to.”
Schaus, 26, staked Team USA to a 3-0 lead early in the second period. He drove hard to the net and got a shot to carom over the goalie’s right shoulder. It was the third goal of the tournament for Schaus.
The other U.S. goals were scored by Joshua Sweeney and Declan Farmer. Team USA held a 29-7 edge in shots and now has outscored its foes, 26-1.
“It was really important to get off to a fast start,” said Misiewicz. “Norway’s a very smart team, and if we didn’t come out flying, who knows where that game could have gone.”
“One of the things we’ve really worked on is trying to use our speed and move the puck,” Sauer said. “Let the puck do the work for us and try to get the other team out of position. We’ve done a pretty good job.”