The marquee event of the Sochi Paralympics is set for Saturday.
The U.S. and Russia will face off in the sledge hockey gold-medal game at Shayba Arena, a rematch of a 2-1 Russian victory in group play four days before. It will be televised live Saturday at noon ET on NBC and streamed at teamusa.org.
Russia had shocked the U.S. on Tuesday, snapping the Americans’ eight-game Paralympic winning streak dating to 2006 and goalie Steve Cash‘s shutout streak at some 313 minutes.
“We came into this tournament with high hopes, and going into Saturday’s game against Russia, we believe strongly that we can accomplish that goal of winning a gold medal,” U.S. forward and Army veteran Rico Roman said in his blog. “They got us on Tuesday, but we’re coming back strong.”
The U.S. is the defending Paralympic champion. Russia made it to the final in its Paralympic sledge hockey debut.
“Four years ago, when the guys got into the sledge, when they had the sticks and pucks in their hands, it was [captain] Vadim Selyukin who told me, ‘We will do everything we can. We will play at our best and be very hard-working guys,'” Russian coach Sergey Samoylov said in a press release. “He told me, ‘We will compete at the Winter Paralympics, not just as hosts, we are going to do much more. We are going to win. We are going to win a medal.'”