Entries tagged "sled hockey"

And the Winner is...

Best of U.S. Awards Show

Outstanding Paralympians and Olympians from 2014 Winter Games in Sochi were honored last night at the inaugural "Best of U.S." Awards Show, held at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. Presented by the United States Olympic Committee, the awards were decided by fan voting on the Team USA Facebook page.

Skier Mark Bathum won as Best Male Paralympian for his silver medal performances in both men’s super-G and super combined events (visually impaired). Eighteen-year-old skier and first-time Paralympian Stephanie Jallen took home two awards, for Best Female Paralympian and for Moment of the Games. When Jallen won bronze medals in women’s super-G — her first Paralympic event ever — and in women’s super combined (standing), her joyous reaction lit up the medals ceremonies.

And our ICE WARRIORS were voted "Team of the Games" for winning historic back-to-back gold medals as they defeated the home team, Russia, in their home arena.

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Bringing Home the Gold

Sled hockey player Brody Roybal celebrates with his gold medal after the medal ceremony.

It’s just an expression used to describe a top win – “bringing home the gold.” But there’s a literal meaning to those words, as the USA Sled Hockey team discovered, and it’s pretty wonderful, too.

For Brody Roybal, it meant arriving home in Northlake, Illinois, to find hundreds of people in front his house chanting “USA! USA!” The crowd included family, friends, complete strangers, news reporters, and his West Leyden High School classmates. Just before leaving for Sochi, Brody had promised his school to do his best to “bring home the gold.” Mission accomplished.

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Snapshots from the Win

Sled Hockey: Post-Win Interview

·  After every game, players line up and bump fists with their opponents, acknowledging the win, the loss, the game. Rico Roman (#23) was struck by a moment after the gold medal match: “One of the Russian players, they’re ex-military, too, one of them said, ‘Good job, soldier.’ That meant a lot.”

·  Gold medals are heavy - more than a pound and a half in total, shards of thick reflective glass set in a silver core and 24 karat gold exterior. The imagery engraved on them represents the sun's rays reflected through snowy mountains, and the temperate Black Sea coast next to Sochi’s icy peaks. The American players were holding on tightly to theirs, but also sharing:  “Would you like to wear it?” So ICE WARRIORS can attest to how great that weight feels hanging around your neck.

·  Team USA was jubilant after the Games, and ICE WARRIORS was there as they got on their bus back to the hotel. We’d heard them, many times over the months we’d filmed the team, cheering “ USA!  USA!” before and after games. Now they were saluting each other:  “BROOODY!!” “ JOSHHH!!!” And then, to the ICE WARRIORS team’s amazement, they cheered us: “PBS! PBS!” We were humbled. 

Watch the team's journey to victory in ICE WARRIORS.

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Sled Hockey Fans

Sled Hockey Fans

We're big fans... of sled hockey fans. Take a look at some of our favorite gold medal game fans!

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ICE WARRIORS win gold

Sled Hockey Final: USA vs Russia

The most important game of their lives, for both Team USA And Team Russia, came down to just one goal. Josh Sweeney (#13), who put that goal in the net, said he knew the Russian goalie, Vladimir Kamantcev, was a big presence in goal. So when Sweeney made a fast steal from a Russian defender, he did a little fake-out move, got Kamantcev to commit, and shot past him. It was enough. Team USA is bringing home gold, the first sled hockey team ever to win back-to-back gold medals.

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Steve Cash Named U.S. Flag Bearer for Closing Ceremony

Sled hockey goalie Steve Cash has been chosen by his 80 teammates to carry the flag for the US Paralympic Team at the Closing Ceremony on Sunday. US Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun pointed out that Steve was the team MVP in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Paralympics, where USA Hockey won gold. He called Cash "a trusted leader and friend to not only his teammates, but all U.S. Paralympic athletes," and added "We certainly wish him and the rest of the team the best of luck as they take on Russia for the gold medal tomorrow night – Go Team USA.”

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Game Four for the Ice Warriors

USA vs CANADA

Game 4 of the 2014 Paralympic sled hockey competition could not have been more highly anticipated. The US and Canadian teams have battled so often and so hard, the players know their opponents almost as well as they know their teammates. In the 2013 World Championships, Canada came out on top, and they beat the Americans again in Toronto later in the year. But the US won the last two match-ups, in January, before heading to the Paralympics. 

The stage was set for tonight’s game, a must-win for Team USA to keep their gold medal hopes alive after Tuesday’s tough loss to Russia. 

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A Big Win for the Ice Warriors

Everyone on Team USA knew that Game 4 was a must-win to keep their gold medal hopes alive after Tuesday’s tough loss to Russia. Both the Americans and the Canadians came out with tremendous focus and a lot of scrappy play, but Declan Farmer scored first for the US 9:12 into the game, then again at the end of the period. 

Five minutes into the second, Farmer notched an assist as he found Josh Pauls, who shot and brought the score to 3-0. Canada was fired up in the third, trying hard to score, but Steve Cash played another perfect game, stopping all eleven shots on goal. Team USA is headed for a rematch against Russia in the gold-medal finals on Saturday night.

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Game Three for the Ice Warriors

With wins under their belts from the first two games, Team USA knew they would be in the semi-finals.  Team Russia, with a 1-1 record, did not.  So both teams came to skate hard in a game that was ultimately decided in the final minutes of play.

Well before the first period ended, though, the game was already historic.  At 11:57 Russian forward Ilia Volkov scored, breaking Steve Cash’s perfect record – no goals were scored against him in the past seven Paralympic Games, stretching back to Game 1, Vancouver, 2010.  Both Andy Yohe and Paul Schaus were in the penalty box at the time, giving the Russians a two-man edge that they quickly took advantage of. 

Another goal in the second put Russia up 2-0, and although Team USA took more than twice as many shots on goal as Team Russia, goalie Vladimir Kamantcev made stop after stop, ending with 22 saves.  As Adam Page said, Kamantcev “played the game of his life.” 

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Game Two for the Ice Warriors

“Shayba” is a great name for a hockey venue: it means “puck” in Russian. In the Olympic Park, the Shayba Hockey Arena is perfectly round, has a flat roof, and is covered in ice blue and tan diagonal streaks – the perfect image of its name. Apparently, “Shaybu!” is also what Russian fans chant to support their team.

But not so far, at least at Team USA’s games. Yesterday, in the USA vs. Italy match, a surprising number of people in the crowd were waving Russia flags but had Italy’s red, white, and green colors painted on their faces and were cheering for Italy. At today’s game against Team Korea, the Russians were yelling, “KO-REE-AAA!!”

But as team captain Andy Yohe told ICE WARRIORS, “As long as the crowd is cheering, we don’t care who they’re cheering for.”

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After the Game: Sled Hockey families

USA Sled Hockey families were pumped after Team USA’s 5-1 win over Italy in the first round of play.

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Game One for the Ice Warriors

All eight teams of the 2014 Paralympic sled hockey competition played today, on Day One of the Games. 

One of the games was a blowout, with Canada grinding down Sweden, 10-1.  

One was a nail-biter:  Korea stunned Russia with a 3-2 shootout victory that was the tournament’s first upset.  

One was a close-fought 3-2 win, Norway over Czechoslovakia, with the Norwegian goalie making 21 saves.

And then there was USA Sled Hockey’s 5-1 win over the Italians. The Americans, as defending gold medalists, were favored to win, but they might not have expected how that win would unfold. Three of the five goals were made by its youngest players. Late in the first period, 16-year-old Declan Farmer ignited the team with its first goal of the Games, and 15-year-old Brody Roybal scored in both the second and third periods, once off an assist from Declan. 

Sled Hockey: USA vs. ITALY

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