SOCHI, Russia -- Though Team USA lost to Russia Tuesday, its first setback of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, the sport of sled hockey continues to win in the United States and around the world. The match-up between USA and Russia commanded unprecedented fan and media attention. More than 5,800 boisterous fans packed Shayba Arena and the International Paralympic Committee issued more than 100 credentials to journalists and broadcasters and another 50-plus passes to photographers. In the U.S., the game was streamed live on TeamUSA.org. NBC Sports Network aired the game as well, incorporating in-depth player features during its broadcast.
"The fan support has been unbelievable, every game has been near capacity," said three-time Paralympian Taylor Chace. "My friends and family have watched all the games back home online or on TV. We've had more media attention than ever before, even from countries that don't have sled hockey. I think it's awesome for the game."
When USA meets Canada in the semifinals at noon ET on Thursday (March 13), the game will be broadcast live by NBC Sports Network and streamed live by TeamUSA.org. The gold-medal game will be broadcast by NBC on Saturday (March 15) at 1 p.m. ET.
USA Today, The New York Times and Associated Press each covered the USA-Russia game in great detail:
U.S. Captain Andy Yohe Confident Team Can Defend Gold (USA Today)
Miracles Know No Borders: Upstart Russia Tops Potent U.S. (New York Times)
From War to Paralympics, US vets compete on ice (AP)
Hometown outlets have followed Team USA in the lead up to the Paralympics as well as once the team reached Sochi.
British, Australian, Swiss and Russian journalists have also attended Team USA practices and games.
Last month's premiere of "Ice Warriors" on PBS also raised awareness of sled hockey and the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team around the country. The producers are in Sochi, preparing to update the documentary for a re-release in the spring. To watch Ice Warriors online, click here.