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Team USA wins gold over Russia at the 2014 Sochi Paralympic sled hockey finals

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In an amazing reversal from their previous playoff where Team USA sled hockey lost to Russia, the final game for the gold medal turned out to be a win for the Americans. The final game on March 15 ending with a score of 1 - 0, shows just how strong both teams played. It was in the second period when Russia had a hole in it's firm defense that a goal was made by Josh Sweeny that resulted in USA's win.

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With the victory, Team USA becomes the first team to win back-to-back gold medals in the Paralympic Winter Games in sled hockey. The gold medal is the third for the U.S. since 2002.

The Americans game point came at 9:28 in the second period when Sweeney converted after forcing a turnover in the offensive zone. Following a collision by two Russian players, Sweeney picked up the open puck just inside the blue line and power on Russian goaltender Vladimir Kamantcev. Sweeney shifted to his left before sliding the puck back to his right and placing a shot airborne over Kamantcev and into the goal net.

Team USA played a strong defensive game throughout, limiting Russia to just six shots on goal while defending two Russian power-play opportunities. Goaltender Steve Cash came up with a pair of saves on dangerous Russian chances in the third period to preventing Russia from scoring.

Player of the game goes to Josh Sweeney who not only scored the only point, but played and aggressive offense throughout. Sweeny's entry into sled hockey comes after being injured as a Marine serving in Afghanistan. An avid hockey player prior to his military service, Sweeny got into sled hockey when he joined the San Antonio Rampage sled hockey club in 2010. He excelled rapidly in the sport, participating in the second-place finish at the 2011 World Sledge Hockey Challenge and helped Team USA to a gold medal at the 2012 IPC Ice Sledge World Championship.



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