Arch rivals, a gold medal game gone into overtime, and a hero – all these elements create the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) No. 7 moment of 2019.
The 2019 World Para Ice Hockey Championships witnessed a thriller on the ice between two powerhouses Canada and the USA going for gold.
It was a fairy tale ending for the US side, and heartbreak for Canada.
Brody Roybal scored the winning goal in an overtime thriller to give his team the 3-2 victory. The 20-year-old collected the perfect pass from star forward Declan Farmer to give USA the gold medal 5:08 minutes into the overtime.
The world title came only one year after the USA won their third straight and fourth overall Paralympic title, and this year’s triumph in Ostrava, Czech Republic gives them four of the last six World Championships.
For Canada, it was their ninth podium finish at the World Championships in 10 appearances.
“It’s an incredible feeling, but I have to give it to my teammates as we were working so hard for basically five minutes straight out there in that overtime,” Roybal said after the win. “Declan spotted me the perfect pass, and I just had to put it away.”
Ostrava 2019 will also go down in history for its packed arena, showing how the hunger for the sport has grown.
The 2019 Worlds attracted 64,748 spectators across the entire tournament, smashing the record for the most spectators ever at a single World Championships in the sport.
“It was the most dramatic way to finish a tournament, let alone the World Championships,” Farmer said.
“This was the biggest game of the year. Even though the Czechs weren’t playing, the people of Ostrava really came out in numbers tonight to support us and it was a really fun atmosphere.”