The 2022 Paralympic Winter Games will run from March 4-13, and each day, NBCOlympics.com will recap the biggest stories that happened overnight. Here's what you may have missed from the final day of Paralympic competition.
U.S. sled hockey wins fourth straight Paralympic title, 5-0 over rival Canada
The U.S. dominated Canada in the sled hockey gold medal game to complete a four-peat at the Winter Paralympic Games. Nashville roommates Declan Farmer and Brody Roybal each had two goals and an assist while captain Josh Pauls found the net and and an apple himself in a 5-0 victory, replicating the two teams' opening prelim game result.
Farmer and Roybal scored back-to-back short-handed goals via short side and interception in the first period. Pauls missed a penalty shot to begin the second, then Roybal with help from Farmer made it 3-0. Pauls redeemed himself with stellar stick handling to add another, and in the third, Farmer lit the lamp with an upper-decker to put USA up 5-0.
Goaltender Jen Lee, a retired U.S. Army sergeant who replaced retiring Steve Cash in October, recorded 16 saves to register a perfect Games while in net. Farmer led all players in the tournament, his third appearance, with 18 points. The 24-year-old is the U.S. all-time leader in goals, assists and points at the Winter Paralympics.
"We all just know that when it comes to these kinds of games, we are going to play harder than any other game," Farmer said. "Jen [Lee] was amazing. We killed off those penalties and yeah, it is pretty special to have that result."
The game was a rematch of the 2018 final in which the U.S. beat Canada 2-1 in overtime — Farmer, a native of Tampa, Florida, scored both goals, one to tie with 37 seconds remaining in regulation and another to win. Eleven members of the U.S. 2018 squad returned to repeat in 2022, including Roybal.
"I can’t even put it into words. This team has done so much for me," said Roybal. "I would not be where I am as a person without this game. I owe my life to this game and this team."
Sunday marked the sixth straight global title game in which the nations have met dating back to the 2015 World Para Ice Hockey Championships, with the U.S. winning two Paralympics and three world championships and Canada taking the 2017 world title. The matchup also continued a six-Games streak of one of the neighboring North American countries winning the sport's Paralympic title since 2002.
Nineteen-year veteran Greg Westlake played his last game in a Canada sweater. The three-time Paralympic and eight-time world medalist said he was disappointed with a lack of shots early in the game but said his team will hold their heads high.
"You want to win every game you play, especially as Canadian hockey players. At times, we put too much pressure on ourselves and carry that weight of, it's gold or nothing. We carry that a lot," he said. "As Paralympic athletes we want to be leaders in our community and show the world what can be dealt with in life. You can turn it into something amazing, something positive."
The U.S. won all four of its games in the tournament and outscored its opponents 30-1. Both teams were coming off 11-0 semifinal wins, with the U.S. throttling China and Canada trouncing South Korea.
China defeated South Korea 4-0 Saturday to claim bronze on home ice in its Paralympic sled hockey debut.
Sensational relay gold makes Masters most decorated U.S. Winter Paralympian
U.S. Nordic skier Oksana Masters clinched a historic 14th career Winter Paralympic medal on the final day of the 2022 Games, as the U.S. stunningly beat out Ukraine and China for cross-country gold in the mixed 4x2.5km – its first-ever medal in a Winter Paralympic relay.
Jake Adicoff and guide Sam Wood anchored an epic, come-from-behind finish to seize the victory and their third medals, 20-year-old Sydney Peterson completed a medal trifecta and retired U.S. Navy SEAL Lt. Cmdr. Dan Cnossen, already a six-time Paralympic medalist, finally earned his first of the 2022 Games in the sixth event of his campaign.
Masters is now the most decorated U.S. Winter Paralympian of all time, and the first American to amass seven medals at a single Winter Paralympics — in addition to Sunday's relay gold, the 32-year-old collected sprint, 10km and 15km silvers in cross-country's individual events, and in biathlon, 6km and 12.5km golds and 10km silver.
Masters, a sitting skier, led off and positioned the U.S. in third at the first exchange, about 20 seconds back from leader Ukraine. Peterson, who competes in the standing classification, dropped to fourth by the second exchange, nearly 50 seconds behind the lead, as the Chinese surged to overtake the Ukrainians.
Sitting skier Cnossen then closed the gap to the front by a third of its previous time, but Team USA remained in fourth trailing by 30 seconds at the last exchange. That's when vision impaired duo Adicoff and Wood shot out like a cannon, going fourth to first in half a lap to cap an incredible rally and defeat China by 26 seconds.
"We knew that we were going to come into that last leg with a bit of a deficit to make up, that's just how the team is set up … We came out of the gate hot and just really sent it in the first half," Adicoff said. "To win this medal as the team – and not only as a team of like the five of us that skied but, you know, the whole Team USA that was behind us – is awesome. We're just ecstatic."
Canada held on for bronze, giving double gold medalist Natalie Wilkie her fourth medal of the Games, while defending gold medalist and reigning world champion Ukraine placed fourth off the podium. China finished with 18 medals and seven golds in cross-country skiing, and 30 total in the broader Nordic discipline encompassing biathlon.
Ukraine was victorious in the open 4x2.5km relay, earning its 29th medal and 11th gold of the 2022 Paralympics. France and Norway picked up silver and bronze. Brian McKeever fell short of record gold No. 17 as Canada took sixth, and the U.S. team, which included five-time Winter Paralympic medalist Kendall Gretsch, placed ninth.
Pedersen quads, Bauchet triples, Bertagnolli defends in men's Alpine slalom
Norway's Jesper Pedersen won his fourth Alpine skiing gold of the 2022 Paralympics and reached his fifth podium, collapsing at the finish line due to tiredness from the long stretch of events. The event's reigning world champion began with downhill silver on the first day of competition, then won four straight titles: super-G last Sunday, super combined the next day, giant slalom last Thursday and finally slalom on Sunday.
Pedersen's father passed away less than a year and a half ago, and Pederson finds ways to keep his spirt with him while competing.
"I've had him (his photos) on my sit ski for the last races. He's always with me in my memory. I wouldn't be where I am today without him so he's a big part of who I am today," Pedersen said. "He took me out skiing for the first time when I was 2 years old. I don't think there are many parents who would have done that with their 2-year-old spina bifida child, so I've been really lucky and I want to honor him in the best way possible and to take four gold medals here is a good way to do that."
In the standing classification, 21-year-old Frenchman Arthur Bauchet won his third title of the 2022 Games, upgrading a third 2018 silver to gold in Alpine skiing. American Thomas Walsh, who took silver in the giant slalom earlier this week, placed sixth.
"It was very hard today. The coach told me on the radio, 'It will be hard, but even if you are collapsing, continue, it's not a big problem,'" Bauchet said. "And I told myself, 'Listen to your coach, go forward,' and at the finish, when I turned my head, I saw my name at the top of the scoreboard. That was a spectacular moment and a great pride."
Giacomo Bertagnolli repeated as gold medalist in vision impaired slalom alongside guide Andrea Ravelli, holding off 16-year-old Austrian phenom Johannes Aigner, who bested him at the most recent world championships.
Aigner's silver earned him his fifth podium of the Games as well. He mentioned his family's success afterward and said it's been wonderful to have his sisters compete and claim medals in their races, too. Veronika Aigner with sister-guide Elisabeth Aigner won two golds, and Barbara Aigner captured a silver and a bronze.
Bertagnolli, meanwhile, is looking forward to the 2026 Milano Cortina Paralympic, which he said will take place about two hours from his house.
Snowboarder Keith Gabel to serve as U.S. flagbearer at Closing Ceremony
The 2022 Paralympic Winter Games' Closing Ceremony takes place Sunday, and live coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. EDT on NBCOlympics.com (with AD), USA Network and Peacock.
Utah's Keith Gabel will hold the stars and stripes for the U.S. team. The 37-year-old finished seventh in both the snowboard cross and banked slalom SB-LL2 events in his third Games appearance.
Gabel earned SBX SB-LL2 silver at the 2018 PyeongChang Games, and before that took bronze in SBX standing at the 2014 Sochi Games.
"When they told me, I almost started crying," he said. "I’ve been to three Games now and there’s been such highs and lows with competition, it brings it all together to get the honor to bring Team USA out for the last time."