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March 8, 2014

Norway beats Czech Republic in sledge hockey overtime win in first match at Winter Paralympics

Norway beats Czech Republic in sledge hockey overtime win in first match at Winter Paralympics

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Saturday, March 8, 2014 In the first sledge hockey game of the 2014 Winter Paralympics held earlier today at Shayba Arena at Sochi‘s Coastal Village Olympic Park, Norway defeated the Czech Republic 2–1 in a shootout win. Norway’s Audun Bakke scored the team’s only goal in regulation time during the second period. The Czech Republic’s Michal Geier scored the equalizer in the third period. Norway scored the only overtime shootout goal.

These Games are only the second ones that the Czech sledge hockey team have participated in, making their debut at the 2010 Winter Paralympics. In contrast, Norway has medalled at every Paralympic Games since the sport was added as a medal sport to the Paralympic program at the 1994 Winter Paralympics. They are the only country to have this accomplishment.

Norway is next scheduled to play Canada tomorrow, and then Sweden on March 11 to complete their games in group play. The Czech Republic is scheduled to play Sweden tomorrow and conclude group play against Canada on March 11.

CZE v NOR 1.jpg The Czech goalkeeper following a shot by the Norwegian team in overtime.
Image: Laura Hale.

CZE v NOR 2.jpg A puck at center ice waiting for a Norwegian player to take it to shoot during the overtime shootout.
Image: Laura Hale.

CZE v NOR 3.jpg The Norwegian team celebrating in front of their net.
Image: Laura Hale.
CZE v NOR 4.jpg Czech fans in the stands.
Image: Laura Hale.
CZE v NOR 5.jpg Norway at center ice saluting the fans following their win.
Image: Laura Hale.



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

USA sledge hockey team beats Italy in Winter Paralympics opener

USA sledge hockey team beats Italy in Winter Paralympics opener

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Rico Roman of Team USA fights with Valerio Corvino of Italy for the puck
Image: Laura Hale.

With the home-crowd Russian fans on the side of the Italians, the United States defeated Italy in sledge hockey by a score of 5–1 today in both teams’ opening game at the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia.

The United States started the first period with possession, but much of this was on their own third of the ice. Both teams did a full line change within the first minute of play following an Italian penalty by Bruno Balossetti that resulted in a United States power player. While the USA got possession on the penalty, it was after a few seconds where who had possession was questionable. The puck then changed possession several times. Both goalies had to work in the opening minutes of the game. With 12:20 left in the first, Italy had a fast break down the ice. In defending his goal, the Team USA goalie fell over and there was a mob in front of the goal trying to move the puck. The USA managed to prevent the Italians from scoring. Following this, there was a line change and a similar pile up in front of the Team USA net at 12:13. After a penalty that saw Andy Yohe get 2 minutes for roughing, the United States got possession.

Both sides had their fans in arena, with several large Italian flags behind their team’s bench. There were a pair of United States flags. When the Italians had the puck and looked likely to score, the multitude of Russian flags were waved and the fans cheered in support of the team. The United States allowed Italy to get possession after two players crashed into each other and had to untangle their sledges. At 10:20 left, Italy managed to get a shot on goal, which the USA goalie stopped. With 10:09, both teams were to full strength. There was another pile up, this time in front of the Italian net, at 9:12 left. The United States had problems passing during much of this time, and with keeping the puck out of their third. A United States fan was screaming at the team at one point shouting, “Get it out.” Italy had several good chances but they were not able to capitalize on them. At 2:30 left, the United States and Italy were about equal with shots on goal: 4 for USA, 5 for Italy. At 2:30 left in the first, Valerio Corvino of Italy got 2 minutes in the penalty box for roughing. With 1:15, good passes by Nikko Landeros and Taylor Chance lead to a goal by Declan Farmer on a power player opportunity. Immediately following the goal, Italian Werner Winkler got a 2 minute penalty for roughing. The pace of the game slowed down in the final minutes, and there were fewer hits. The occasional United States fan chanted “USA, USA, USA.” The first period ended 1–0 in favour of the United States.

Italy and the United States face off
Image: Laura Hale.

The second period started with lots of Italian cheering from the stands, while the Americans possessed the puck on the Italian third of the ice. Both teams were shorthanded, each with a player in the penalty box. The penalties were over and both teams were at full strength by 14:10 left in the second. Early in the period, Italy got a two minute penalty for too many players on the ice. The United States also addressed possession problems they had in the first period and kept the puck in front of the Italian goal. Team USA still had problems with executing passes though. Whenever the Italians got possession of the puck and looked like they might have a remote chance of scoring, the Russian fans started cheering loudly. With 3:48 left in the second, Brody Roybal scored with an assist from Declan Farmer. With 1:18 left in the second, Guiseppe Condello got a 2 minute penalty for teeing when he rammed the front of his sledge into a USA player’s sledge. The period ended 2–0 in favour of the the United States.

During the intermission, a Paralympic presenter went into the audience to talk to Team USA fans in the stands for the screens found on display in the arena. Following a little patter, she asked the fans to do the Team USA chant, which they did. In response to the requested, “USA! USA! USA!” chant, a number of people inside the arena booed.

The third period started with Team USA possession. Early in the period, Taylor Chase had a 2 minute penalty for teeing, and both teams were shorthanded with 14:38 left in the third. Italy was back at full strength by 14:17. Despite the teeing penalty, the number of collisions appeared down from earlier in the game. Both teams were at full strength with 12:33 left in the third period. With 11:56 left in the third, Joshua Sweeney got the puck, moved it down the ice and then slid it past the Italian goalkeeper to score an unassisted goal. Midway through the third period, and most of the puck possession took place on the Italian third of the ice. With 4:42 left in the third, with assists from Joshua Pauls and Nikko Landeros, Brody Roybal scored on the Italians to little applause from people in the arena. The score was 4–0. Following the goal, Team USA took a timeout and made a goalkeeper change, with Steve Cash out and Jen Lee in. With 3:26 left in the third, Team USA player Paul Schaus earned a 2 minute penalty for roughing. The Team USA goalie made a fantastic above-the-head glove save with 3:05 left in the third. With 1:26 left in the game, Italian Florian Planker scored off an assist from Gianluca Cavaliere. The stadium erupted into loud chanting, and lots of waving of Russian flags. Adam Page was injured with 1:08 left in the game, and left the ice to a round of applause from the fans. The United States’s Paul Schaus scored off an assist from Nikko Landeros with just under 5 seconds left in the game, bringing the final score to 5–1.

The United States comes into Sochi as previous Paralympic gold medalists, having won it at all at the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver, Canada. Steve Cash started for Team USA. He did not let in a single goal during the 2010 Winter Paralympics.

USA v ITA 1.JPG Team USA takes the ice for the start of the game
Image: Laura Hale.

USA v ITA 2.JPG An Italian player handles the puck behind his own net
Image: Laura Hale.

USA v ITA 3.JPG Team USA faces off with Italy after a penalty
Image: Laura Hale.
USA v ITA 4.JPG Fans of Team USA in the stands
Image: Laura Hale.
USA v ITA 5.JPG Team USA tried to retain the puck while against the boards
Image: Laura Hale.
USA v ITA 6.JPG Both teams battle it out for the puck
Image: Laura Hale.
USA v ITA 7.JPG The Italian goalkeeper stops the puck from a Team USA shot
Image: Laura Hale.
USA v ITA 8.JPG Adam Page is injured and on the ice
Image: Laura Hale.
USA v ITA 9.JPG The Italian goalkeeper
Image: Laura Hale.
USA v ITA 10.JPG Both teams shake hands at the conclusion of the game
Image: Laura Hale.



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Canada routs Sweden in sledge hockey at Winter Paralympics

Canada routs Sweden in sledge hockey at Winter Paralympics

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sweden’s starting goalie watches the third period from the bench
Image: Laura Hale.

Earlier today, in the second game of sledge hockey play at the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia, top-seeded Canada routed Sweden by a score of 10–1. Anthony Gale, Adam Dickson, and Dominic Larocque led their team in scoring with two goals a piece.

Canada dominated possession in the first period, and ended with four goals on eleven shots. With the puck rarely in the Canadian third, Sweden managed only one shot on goal in the first. Billy Bridges scored first for Canada, with Ben Delaney scoring Canada’s second, Adam Gale scoring Canada’s third and Dominic Larocque scoring Canada’s fourth goal in the first period.

Sweden came out with more energy in the second period, managing to get the puck more into the Canadian third of the rink but finished the period with only two shots on goal. Canada on the other hand managed to get eleven shots on goal in the second period, scoring three times.

Kenth Jonsson came into goal to start the third period for Sweden, with Ulf Nilsson leaving. The third period involved a lot of Canadian puck possession in the Swedish third. When Sweden was able to make a run down the ice with the puck, the crowds cheered loudly. Despite the puck possession issues, Sweden scored first in the third with a goal by Per Kasperi off an assist from Niklas Ingvarsson and Niklas Rakos with around 9:38 left in the third period.

Five minutes left, Canada went on to score a quick succession of goals, the first coming with 4:48 left in the third and during a power play. Adam Dickson scored with an assist from Brad Bowden and Kevin Rempel. Twenty seconds later, Dominic Larocque scored with an assist from Rempel. With 3:30 left in the game, Canada went up 10–1 with a goal scored by Anthony Gale. The Canadian fans were on their feet and waving their flags. Neither team was able to score in the remaining time.

Canada had a much deeper bench than Sweden, and were able to execute multiple complete line changes. In contest, Sweden had only three available players on their bench, with line changes consisting of changing only one player. Canada’s official roster has 15 players and 2 goalkeepers, while Sweden’s has 12 and 2 goalkeepers.

Canada finished fourth at the 2010 Winter Paralympics, a contest played on home soil, with eight members of their current seventeen member roster returning to compete in the 2014 Games. Despite the depth of experience for Canada, they were a younger squad than Sweden with an average age of 26 to Sweden’s 33.

In sledge hockey, players use two hockey sticks, one in each hand. One end of the hockey stick is very hard and used to propel the player down the ice. The other side looks like a smaller version of a traditional ice hockey stick and is used to hit the puck. Players compete while sitting in a sledge, which has two blades at the back that can be no longer than a third of the length of the sledge. The height of the sledge off the ice is high enough that the puck may pass under it.

Canada V Sweden 1.jpg
Image: Laura Hale.

Canada V Sweden 2.jpg
Image: Laura Hale.

Canada V Sweden 3.jpg
Image: Laura Hale.
Canada V Sweden 4.jpg
Image: Laura Hale.
Canada V Sweden 5.jpg
Image: Laura Hale.
Canada V Sweden 6.jpg
Image: Laura Hale.
Canada V Sweden 7.jpg
Image: Laura Hale.



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

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