Russia joins US, Canada on sledge hockey podium

IANS| Last Updated: Mar 16, 2014, 16:11 PM IST

Sochi: The United States became the first team to win back-to-back Winter Paralympics sledge hockey golds while silver medallists Russia confirmed their place among the sport`s elite here.

American forward Josh Sweeney`s second period goal Saturday secured them a 1-0 win against Russia. US coach Jeff Sauer said Sweeney scored the goal because he managed to get the goaltender moving, reports Xinhua.

"One of the things we didn`t do well against Russia the other night was that we didn`t get the goaltender moving," Sauer said, referring to the Group B 1-2 loss to Russia Tuesday.

The Russian squad, created just five years ago, established themselves as a sledge hockey superpower, joining US, Canada and Norway as a consistent medal contender.

"This triangle of Canada, US and Russia in the near future will determine the development of sledge hockey and we really want that to happen," Russia coach Sergey Samoylo said.

Russia earned the podium spot after their Winter Olympics` men`s and women`s teams were bundled out earlier.

Canada missed out on the podium in front of home fans at 2010 Vancouver after Norway scored a goal with less than four seconds left in the bronze medal game.

The two teams faced off again for third place here with the Canadians, this time, leaving no room for doubt with a 3-0 victory.