SOCHI, Russia – Team USA dominated Canada in a play-off shutout on Thursday, continuing to the final Saturday. Wheelchair curling saw their Games end with a loss to Great Britain and US alpine had a strong fourth-place finish in the visually impaired slalom.
Below are recaps from the day’s events.
In a close game that resulted in a tie at the 8th end, Great Britain was defeated team USA in a overtime end 8-7. The US looked like it would carry the game unitil GB smashed into play with five points in the fifth end, leading to a tie at the end of the match. The tie-breaking win by GB pushed the play-offs out of reach for team USA after China won their game against Great Britain, placing China in the semi-finals along with Canada, Russian Federation and GB.
USA wheelchair curling ends their Paralympic Games in fifth place with a 9-4 record.
Mark Bathum and guide Cade Yamamoto earned the best time for the USA in alpine skiing, coming in fourth in visually impaired slalom with just one second between them and third place.
“My slalom needs a lot of work,” Bathum said. “The effort was there but the execution may not have been there. As good as a guide as Cade is, he is an even better coach. He had me skiing a couple of great days of slalom this year but I was not able to replicate that here on the hill today. Slalom is a heck of a lot of fun, we had a blast out there today.”
Gerald Hayden got 11th in the men’s sitting class after recovering from a fall on the run. Ralph Green got 17th in the standing slalom.
The International Paralympic Committee announced that Anna Schaffelhuber of Germany had successfully appealed her disqualification from Wednesday’s sitting slalom, resulting in Laurie Stephens being knocked back to fourth from third.
Team USA made a statement with a major shutout of rival team Canada, 3-0. The US starting strong, scoring twice in the first period and adding a third score in the second. Canada rarely got a chance of scoring with the relentless USA defense never letting them near the goal.
“I have a lot of confidence in my forwards and my team,” head coach Jeff Sauer said. “The fact that if they play the way they can, and if they move the way they can, it’s very difficult to stay with us, and I thought we showed that tonight.”