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.
NAGANO, Japan - The Czech Republic scored three goals in the second period and used a 38-save performance from goaltender Dominik Hasek to defeat the United States, 4-1, in the quarterfinal round of the XVIII Olympic Winter Games men's ice hockey tournament here Wednesday afternoon.
The Czech Republic, which improved to 3-1-0 overall in the Olympic tournament, advances to Friday's semifinal round to meet the winner of the Canada-Kazakhstan quarterfinal. The United States fell to 1-3-0 overall and was eliminated from Olympic competition.
The United States built a 1-0 lead at 16:12 of the first period when forward Mike Modano (Dallas Stars/Livonia, Mich.) worked a backhand shot from close range past Hasek. Modano's goal, his second of the Olympic tournament, was set-up by a cross-ice feed from forward Tony Amonte (Chicago Blackhawks/Hingham, Mass.) and a second assist from forward Keith Tkachuk (Phoenix Coyotes/Melrose, Mass.).
The Czech Republic tied the game at 8:21 of the second period when forward Vladimir Ruzicka stuffed a rebound past U.S. goaltender Mike Richter (New York Rangers/Abington, Pa.). Ruzicka's goal, his third of the Olympic tournament, was assisted by forwards Jaromir Jagr and Martin Straka. Ruzicka's goal was followed just :58 later by a goal from Jagr, who scored on a wrist shot from between the circles.
The Czechs moved ahead 3-1 at 16:35 of the second period when forward Martin Rucinsky registered his third goal of the Olympic tournament on a shot from beyond the left face-off circle. Forward Jiri Dopita added an unassisted goal with :39 remaining in the third period to make the final score 4-1.
The United States held a sizable, 39-19 advantage in shots on goal, including 15 shots in the third period. Richter registered 14 saves for Team USA in suffering his third loss of the XVIII Olympic Winter Games.
Team Czech Republic 0 3 1 4
Team USA 1 0 0 1
First period -- Scoring: 1, USA, Modano (Amonte, Tkachuk), 16:12. Penalties: Hejduk, CZE (interference), 2:39; Roenick, USA (hooking), 11:43; Suter, USA (high sticking), 13:34.
Second period -- Scoring: 2, CZE, Ruzicka (Jagr, Straka), 8:21. 3, CZE, Jagr (Dopita), 9:19. 4, CZE, Rucinsky (Lang, Smehlik), 16:35. Penalties: Tkachuk, USA (high sticking), 9:28; Slegr, CZE (holding), 11:37; Slegr, CZE (holding), 19:13.
Third period -- Scoring: 5, CZE, Dopita (unassisted), 19:21. Penalties: Amonte, USA (charging), 6:36.
Shots on goal USA 10-14-15 39. CZE 5-8-6 19.
Goalies Richter, USA (18 shots, 14 saves), Vanbiesbrouck (1 shot, 1 saves). Hasek, CZE (39 shots, 38 saves).
After a 5-4 loss to Russia on Tuesday, Team USA advanced to the quarterfinal round, where on Wednesday it will play Team USA at 11:30 a.m EST. The United States twice cut two-goal deficits to eventually tie the game at 3-3 and 4-4 before falling in the third period.