2022 Paralympics: South Hadley’s Kyle Zych nets 3 assists in Team USA’s semifinal sled hockey win over China

  • South Hadley native Kyle Zych recorded three assists in Team USA’s 11-0 win over China in the semifinal round of the 2022 Paralmpic Games on Friday in Beijing, China. USA will meet Canada for the gold medal on Saturday night at 11:05 p.m. ET on USA Network. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/USA HOCKEY

Staff Writer 
Published: 3/11/2022 11:02:39 AM

South Hadley native Kyle Zych collected three assists as Team USA’s sled hockey squad routed Team China 11-0 in their semifinal contest at the 2022 Paralympics on Friday morning in Beijing, China.

The win punched the team’s ticket to the gold medal game, where they’ll face off against Team Canada in an effort to win an unprecedented fourth consecutive gold medal on Saturday at 11:05 p.m. ET on USA Network.

Zych looked right at home on a line with Josh Misiewicz and Declan Farmer; the three players combined for 12 points in their win against China. Though this is the South Hadley native’s first Paralympic Games, he’s no stranger to the USA sled hockey team. Zych has represented his country twice at the 2019 and 2021 world championships as well as at the 2018 Para Ice Hockey Cup. 

Team USA wasted no time getting on the board in the first frame. Brody Roybal scored his first of four goals in the game at the 5:35 mark, when he deflected a shot from Declan Farmer off his helmet and past Team China’s Yanzhao Ji in net.

Just 32 seconds later, he struck again, this time on a clean look in the slot, also assisted by Farmer. 

Josh Misiewicz made it 3-0 midway through the first frame, crashing the net and flicking the puck past a sprawled Ji at the 8:35 mark. Zych picked up his first assist of the game on the play, while Farmer collected his third; with Farmer’s assist, he also set a Paralympic record for most assists in a Paralympic Games with 17. 

Roybal completed his hat trick for Team USA on a power play in the final minute of the first period. He collected another pass from Farmer and sent a seeing-eye shot past China’s netminder to make it 4-0. 

Misiewicz picked up his second goal of the game just under three minutes into the second period, beating Wei Wang on a relatively harmless looking shot. Wang replaced Ji in net for Team China after the first intermission. 

Farmer continued his impressive performance with a power play for USA two minutes later. Misiewicz passed up a hat trick opportunity to slide a pass to Farmer, who made it 6-0 USA.

Rookie Malik Jones scored 48 seconds into another power play to make it 7-0, and Zych picked up his second assist of the game on Farmer’s second goal of the contest less than a minute later. He got his third assist on a goal from Joseph Woodke, who rounded out the scoring for Team USA in the second with the team’s ninth goal with 2:20 left in the period. 

The red, white and blue scored twice more in the final frame. Roybal scored his fourth goal of the contest 1:57 into the third period to make it 10-0, and Josh Pauls scored his second goal of the Games just a minute and five seconds later.

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