The United States men’s sled hockey team will be leaving PyeongChang with Paralympic gold after an overtime thriller with Canada.
It would take a desperation effort late in the third period to force an extra period in a classic USA/Canada matchup, the first meeting between these two countries with a gold medal on the line.
The Canadians carried a 1-0 lead until the closing seconds of play. With just 37.8 seconds remaining and an extra attacker on the ice for the Americans, 20-year-old Declan Farmer buried the equalizer on a beautiful pass from Brody Roybal.
The lone Canadian goal came with 2:54 left in the game, a goal that would end American netminder Steve Cash’s shutout streak that had lasted the whole tournament.
In the overtime period, Farmer would be the hero yet again, netting the golden goal to give the U.S.their third-straight gold medal at the Paralympic Winter Games.
In a postgame interview with TeamUSA.org’s Darci Miller, Farmer summed up his feelings with “It’s incredible. Especially to go to overtime. That’s what kids dream of.”
Farmer, the bilateral amputee, would be awarded MVP of the tournament, leading all players in both goals and total points with 11 and 17 respectively. The MVP award is nice addition to Farmer’s already impressive resume, as he took home an ESPY in 2014 by winning the award for best disabled male athlete. Farmer has been apart of the national team since the age of 14.
The program’s fourth overall gold medal solidifies the Americans as the clear powerhouse atop of sled hockey in the world. While Canada was clearly a great test for Team USA, nobody in the world can seem to slow down this group. Led by veterans like Cash and team captain Josh Pauls, alongside arguably the best sled hockey player in the world in Declan Farmer, don’t expect this to be the last gold medal the red, white, and blue will bring back to the states.