SOCHI, March 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Team Russia defeated the team from the United States 2-1 on Tuesday in the preliminary round match of the ice sledge hockey at the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games in Russia’s Sochi.
The first goal for the hosts was scored by Ilya Volkov, when the Russians played in majority as US Paul Schaus went to the penalty booth for charging.
With less than three minutes into the opening of the second period Russia’s Konstantin Shikhov netted another goal for his team.
The United States answered the two Russian goals in the middle of the third period, when Adam Page put the puck in the Russian goal.
Both teams have already qualified for the semifinals but emotions were nevertheless high during this game among the players as well as among the spectators, who packed almost full-house the 7,000-seat Shayba Arena.
Fans in the arena stood flying the flags of Russia and constantly chanting ‘Rossiya! Rossiya!,’ however there were also many fans waving flags of the United States.
The event was so much anticipated that even journalists had to get tickets besides their accreditation to get to the media stands of the arena and cover the game.
According to organizers’ statistics, a total of 5,765 spectators attended the match between the Russian and American teams on Tuesday.
This is the first Paralympic Winter games for the Russian ice sledge hockey team. In two previous games Russia lost to South Korea 2-3 and then creamed the Italian team 7-0.
The team qualified for the semifinals by getting enough points due to South Korea’s defeat to Italy 1-2 earlier in the day.
Group B top seed the United States, who are the two-time Paralympic champions, punched its ticket to the semifinals on Sunday after defeating South Korea 3-0.