Paralympic Ice Hockey Final

Author: Benedict Chen

Team USA won its fourth-consecutive gold medal in the sled hockey at the Beijing 2022 Paralympics. This victory crushed Team Canada’s hopes to claim its first gold medal since Turin 2006 fell short after losing 5-0.

Match Summary

In the opening minutes of the game, both teams matched each other’s play. That did not last long as forward Declan Farmer of Team USA forced a turnover in the defensive zone and put the first shot on goal from either team four minutes and thirty-six seconds in.

Twenty-five seconds later, forward Brody Roybal extended Team USA’s lead to 2-0 after he intercepted a pass from Canadian goaltender Dominic Larocque. Canada attempted to cut the lead with over two minutes left in the first period but was denied by USA goaltender Jen Lee.

In the second period, forward Joseph Woodke assisted Roybal in netting his second goal of the game which made the score 3-0. Five minutes and twelve seconds later, Farmer passed the puck to defenseman Josh Pauls who tapped in the fourth goal of the game for Team USA.

Going into the third, Canada increased its pressure in its offensive zone, but the defense of Team USA prevented them from doing any damage. With less than 10 minutes left in the game, Farmer scored the game-winning goal for Team USA. In the final minutes of the match, Team USA held strong and won their fourth-straight gold medal.

Medals

Gold: USA

U.S. goaltender Jen Lee got his first opportunity to start a Paralympics final after the retirement of veteran goaltender Steve Cash. Four big saves by Lee allowed Team USA to maintain its lead throughout the whole game. In total, he recorded 16 saves and shut out the Canadians. In the entire Beijing 2022 para ice hockey tournament, Lee only allowed one goal and that was on March 12th in Team USA’s preliminary round game against South Korea. He finished the tournament with a perfect 1.00 save percentage and zero goals-against average.

The offense of Team USA proved its might again after they routed Team Canada 5-0. In the game, they outshot the Canadians 20-16 and made the Canadians go 0-5 on the power play.

Overall, the U.S. went undefeated in the whole tournament, beating South Korea 9-1 in the preliminary round and China 11-0 in the semifinals.

Silver: Canada

Canadian goaltender Dominic Larocque recorded 15 saves but was unable to stop the Americans from scoring. Even though this game was a rematch of the tough Pyeongchang 2018 gold medal game, the offense and defense did not show up for Larocque and Team Canada.

This game was also the final game for Canadian forward Greg Westlake, who, before Beijing 2022, announced he was going to retire. In his career at the Paralympic Games, he won one gold medal in Torino 2006, a bronze at Sochi 2014 and a silver at Pyeongchang 2018 and this year in Beijing.

Bronze: China

China won its first medal in Paralympic ice hockey after a 4-0 victory against South Korea. The Chinese para ice hockey team was only established five years ago and with the leadership of Russian coach Nikolay Sharshukov, confirmed their emergence as a new power in the sport their win over the South Koreans.