Winning a championship is one thing, but rolling through the competition without ever tasting defeat is another. After a 3-0 victory over Team Canada's sled hockey team, Team USA was crowned the 2015 International Paralympic Committee World Sled Hockey gold medalists.
Over the course of the tournament, the American squad was the tournament's most dominant team. In their opening game against Russia, netminder Steve Cash was beaten once late in the second period. That goal -- coming off the stick of Ilia Volkov at 12:54 of the second frame of Team USA's first game of the tournament -- was the only one that would find its way past Cash for the length of the seven-day competition.
In the games that followed, Cash and Team USA blanked Germany 7-0, downed Italy 7-0, got past Norway 6-0 in the semi-final and defeated Canada 3-0 for gold.
Throughout the tournament, Josh Pauls, a defenseman for Team USA who was named the competition's Best Defenseman, had been writing about the experience at the tournament. Following Sunday's victory, Pauls wrote a final entry, recapping the competition.
"I cannot express enough how great the support has been within the city of Buffalo and throughout the United States," Pauls wrote. "Having so many people tweet, Facebook and message us after the win was something out of this world. I am very thankful to have such great support from fans, teammates and staff. We all played our hearts out and it came to fruition as we achieved our goal of a gold medal at worlds."
The gold-medal game between USA and Canada remained scoreless through the first two frames, but the tie was broken less than three minutes into the third period when Declan Farmer found room behind Canadian goaltender Corbin Watson. Farmer's goal stood as the game- and gold medal-winning tally.
Beyond Farmer's winning tally, the performances by Pauls and Cash were two of the tournaments best, but Adam Page, who had the primary assist on Daniel McCoy's third-period insurance tally, set a new scoring record for Team USA at the competition by notching six goals and 11 points. For his career, Page now has 19 points for Team USA, the most of any player to ever suit up in world championships for the American club.
By taking home gold at the Worlds, Team USA has now won three of the past four IPC World Sled Hockey championships.