GANGNEUNG, Korea, Republic Of — Canada’s Para ice hockey team at the Pyeongchang Paralympics will go home with a heartbreaking silver medal.
Declan Farmer scored twice to power the Americans to a 2-1 overtime victory over Canada to cap the Paralympics.
Veteran Billy Bridges scored the lone goal for the Canadians, whose last Paralympic gold came in 2006 in Turin.
The silver comes almost a month after the Canadian women lost a heartbreaker to the U.S. in the Olympic gold-medal game, and Canada’s men’s team was dispatched by Germany in the semifinals.
Bridges scored at 12:06 in the first, firing a pass from Ben Delaney into the top corner. Canadian coach Ken Babey erupted with joy on the bench.
Rob Armstrong hit the post on the Americans’ empty net with just under a minute to play, then Farmer replied for the U.S. with 38 seconds to play to send the game to overtime, and the crowd into a frenzy.
Farmer’s game-winner came at 3:30 in overtime.
Canada and the U.S. had never before met in an Olympic gold-medal game, despite the fact they’re the world’s top two ranked teams.
After capturing gold in the 2006 Olympics in Turin, the Canadians failed to reach the podium in 2010 in Vancouver, then had to settle for bronze four years ago in Sochi after a semifinal loss to the U.S. The Americans won gold in both Games.
Canada though, edged the U.S. to win last year’s world championships on the same Gangneung Hockey Centre ice.
The Canadians and Americans split their two-game Border Series last month, Canada recording a 3-0 win in its most recent meeting on Feb. 10.
The game was a thrilling showcase of Para hockey and drew a lively crowd that rivalled the Canada vs. U.S. women’s Olympic final last month.
Babey took over the program in 2015 after 27 years at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, and as he’s done every game, the 63-year-old coach leaned on the boards with his players, rather than strike the traditional coaches pose in back of the bench.
Host South Korea defeated Italy 1-0 the previous night to win the bronze.