The U.S. sled hockey team’s first loss this season came in its most pivotal game.
Canada easily dispatched the U.S. 4-1 in the world championship final, keeping the Americans from claiming back-to-back world titles en route to the Paralympics next year. NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app will air gold-medal game coverage at 2:30 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Canada scored two goals in each of the first two periods on Steve Cash, who had shut out Russia in the 2014 Paralympic final and Canada in the 2015 Worlds final.
The U.S. avoided a shutout with a Nikko Landeros goal late in the third period.
The U.S. entered the gold-medal game at the 2018 Paralympic site of Gangneung, South Korea, on a tear. They had won all 11 games this season, including six at worlds by a 38-2 margin (with a 2-1 win over Canada in group play).
The team was playing its first tournament since the death of coach Jeff Sauer on Feb. 2 due to pancreatic cancer at age 73.
In Sochi, Sauer coached the U.S. sled hockey team to a repeat Paralympic title, the start of a string of six straight international titles that was snapped Thursday.
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