The 2015 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships A-Pool, which wrapped up on Sunday (3 May), drew the most media attention and spectators in the event’s history. The USA claimed their record-tying third world title, with Canada finishing second and Russia placing third at the tournament in Buffalo, New York, USA.
Take a look back at the top five moments from the event:
Farmer’s finals find
The USA’s first goal in their 3-0 victory over Canada in the gold-medal game – a successful shot by 17-year-old Declan Farmer nearly three minutes into the third period – proved to be the game-winning score and electrified the host nation’s crowd for the remainder of the match. The goal was featured on ESPN’s SportsCenter show, with Farmer, a 2014 ESPY Award winner, being called the hero of the game by media around the world.
Schrader’s saving single
No team had a more ecstatic celebration on the HARBORCENTER ice than Germany, when 18-year-old forward Felix Schrader scored the team’s first and only goal of the tournament. That one goal was enough for Germany to beat the Czech Republic, 1-0 in their classification match to advance to the fifth-place game and stay in the A-Pool for the 2017 World Championships.
The Italian team easily captured the hearts of sledge hockey spectators when they belted the words to their national anthem after defeating Germany, 4-2, in the fifth-place game to capture their best-ever finish at a World Championships. The tournament was very emotional for the Italians, who were dedicating their efforts on the ice to Gianluca Cavaliere, one of the team’s defencemen who was not able to make the trip to Buffalo due to a last-minute injury.
Norway still challengers
As the underdogs in the bronze-medal game against Russia, Norway put up a much tougher fight than expected, surprising even themselves. Despite losing 2-1, the Norwegians took the Russians to overtime. When the buzzer went off to sound the end of the third period, it was a moral victory for Norway, forcing the Russians to play an extra 10 minutes and showing they could hang with the sport’s elite.
The host nation’s 16-year-old Brody Roybal showcased to a live national television audience on NBC Sports Network just how intense sledge hockey is when he put a huge hit on Canada’s Steve Arsenault during the gold-medal game. The crowd went nuts and Twitter immediately reacted to the hit, with NHL writer Chris Peters tweeting a vine, saying Roybal is the Dustin Byfuglien of sledge hockey.