Team USA managed to hold onto a one goal lead, despite penalty trouble, to defend their Olympic title and take home gold in Paralympic sledge hockey today.
After Team USA crushed the dreams of Canada on Thursday with a 3-0 win and Russia outplayed Norway in a 4-0 victory, the Americans and Russians squared off for gold in the Paralympic ice sledge hockey final today.
Both teams matched up well against one another, with USA coming in as the favourite on paper, while the Russians were favoured in the crowd.
A scoreless first period saw three combined shots from both squads, as the defensive game was in full swing on both sides of the rink.
The game remained deadlocked at zero until Team USA’s Joshua Sweeney put an even strength goal passed Russian goaltender Vladimir Kamantcev to give his team the lead with 24:28 remaining in the second period.
Sweeney’s goal would be enough to give his country the gold medal, as American goaltender Steve Cash shut the door against the Russians, who outshot the U.S. 6-4, while also spending less time in the penalty box.
The Russians came on strong in the third period amidst a raucous crowd who were on their side, but they just couldn’t put one in the net.
The Americans defended their title in the sport and showed that despite tough opponents such as Canada and Russia pulling at their sides, they’re currently the prominent force in ice sledge hockey on the international level.