USA Hockey Magazine

April / May 2018

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30 // APRIL/MAY 2018 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM J ust keep pushing. That was the message echoed over and over from the U.S. bench. With Canada holding onto an early 1-0 lead and keeping the high-powered U.S. offense off the short chart in the first period, it was not time to push the panic button. Just keep pushing, as the two-time champions had done throughout the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games and good things would eventually come. Despite peppering Canadian g oaltender Dominic Larocque with eight shots in the sec- ond frame, the Americans couldn't draw even. Still, there was plenty of hockey left to be played. The United States continued to push for the equaliz- er in the final stanza, with its best chance coming with just over seven minutes left. A loose puck squirted out of a net-front scramble to Declan Farmer, one of the deadliest shooters in the U.S. offensive arsenal, who just missed corralling the puck and putting a grade-A chance on goal. It was a puck he controls nine times out of 10, and a shot he finishes nine times out of 10. However, when the puck just missed Farmer's stick and Canada managed to clear the zone. And still Team USA's resolve never waivered. Just keep pushing. With the clock ticking down to 1:20 remaining and Canada still holding a slim lead, head coach Guy Gosselin pulled goaltender Steve Cash for the extra attacker in a final push to keep the gold streak alive. Team USA pulls its goalie with 80 seconds left in reg- ulation. Will it pay off ? Trying to win a third straight Paralympic gold medal, or can Canada spoil the party? "It isn't very often that we're in a position to pull our goaltender," said Dan Brennan, the team's general manager. "Even though our backs were against the wall, we were confident we were going to find a way to get this game tied just based on how hard we were playing." The hope of a third straight golden moment flashed before Team USA's eyes when Canada forward Rob Armstrong streaked into the U.S. zone and ripped a shot that rang off the post of the Cash-less USA goal. It was a scene that brought back memories of the classic women's gold-medal tilt in Sochi when Kelli Stack's long-range shot on an empty-net hit the post to keep Canada's golden hopes alive. Great chance here, Armstrong racing down, he'll shoot, and hits the post! The U.S. is still alive. McGregor plays it back, Canada has some players stuck in the defensive end, can the U.S. capitalize? Josh Misiewicz picked up the loose puck and quickly moved it up to Jack Wallace, who got hit in the neutral zone as the puck came free again. Team captain Josh Pauls managed to gain possession at the Canadian blue line and slid the puck to a streaking Brody Roybal whose centering pass ricocheted to Farmer who made no mistake. In total, all six U.S. players touched the puck during that frantic 23-second rush up the ice. Declan Farmer and Jack Wallace celebrate the tying goal with 38 seconds left to keep the U.S. Sled Hockey Team's gold-medal hopes alive.

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