The U.S. became the first nation to repeat as Paralympic sledge hockey champion, beating Russia 1-0 in the gold-medal game in Sochi on Saturday.
Josh Sweeney scored the only goal in the second period. Sweeney, 26, is a retired U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant and a Purple Heart recipient.
“I saw the defender, and he had the puck and I just went after him and I got the puck from him and took it down and did a little fake because that’s what you want to do when you’re going up against a goalie that good and just put it in the net,” Sweeney said in a press release. “It wasn’t anything that any of my other teammates couldn’t have done, I just did it.”
Goalie Steve Cash posted the six-save shutout, four days after his Paralympic shutout streak of some 313 minutes was snapped by Russia in a 2-1 loss for the Americans in group play.
Cash, 24, was named the U.S. flag bearer for Sunday’s Closing Ceremony on Friday.
Russia performed well for the tournament, winning a silver medal in its first Paralympic sledge hockey appearance.
“I’m not disappointed at all,” Russian goalie Vladimir Kamantcev said. “We played well. It’s a dignified finish for Russia and for ourselves. We showed a good game, a battle, intellect, will and character.”
Also Saturday, Canada beat Russia 8-3 for the wheelchair curling gold.
Russia leads the medal table with 70 total and 27 golds. The next best nations have 21 medals and seven golds. The U.S. has 17 medals and two golds with one day of competition left in Sochi.
Ukraine Paralympians cover medals during Russian anthem
Figure skating analysts Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir will host the Closing Ceremony on Sunday night in Primetime on NBC. The team, along with play-by-play partner Terry Gannon, made the announcement during Tuesday night’s broadcast of the ladies’ short program.
Lipinski, Weir and Gannon will commentate the pageantry from PyeongChang Olympic Stadium, which will feature the Parade of Nations, interviews, profiles, musical performances and more.
“Parades, K-Pop, fireworks, costumes, dancing – who better to host the world’s biggest party than Tara, Johnny and Terry,” Jim Bell, President, NBC Olympics Production and Programming, said in a press release.
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It must be an incredible feeling to share the Olympic experience with your twin sister while skating next to one another on the same team. But, how many sets of twins can say they each had a game-changing moment to help their team capture a gold medal for the first time in 20 years?
NBCOlympics.com: Gold at last: U.S. women beat rival Canada in epic shootout
The Lamoureux twins are in elite company as they both shined individually while helping the U.S. defeat Canada in the women’s hockey gold-medal game.
“I’m digging the new necklace I got today,” Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson said. “It is been a dream to do this, side by side. We have pushed each other since we were little and our brothers have kicked our butts along the way.”
Jocelyne, tasked with shooting in the first round of extra innings, performed a highly-skilled maneuver en route to scoring the eventual shootout-winning goal. No. 17 skated in all alone, faked to her backhand as Canadian goaltender Shannon Szabados slipped, then confidently slid the puck into the back of the net.
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