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  Wednesday, March 4, 2015
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Bronze for Joe Howard's Team USA
By Rick Winterson

     In our March 9 issue, we headlined Joe Howard.  He was born in South Boston, became a paraplegic in his teens, and went on to play on the gold medal USA Paralympic Hockey team in Utah in 2002.  As of that article’s publication, Joe and Paralympic Hockey Team USA were in Turin, Italy, for the opening of the 2006 Winter Paralympic Games.  Joe Howard had been elected the team captain.

     We are pleased to report that Paralympic Hockey Team USA won a bronze medal this year. 

     Team USA lost its opening game in a 2-1 squeaker against Team Germany.  Joe scored the lone USA goal unassisted.  They then went on to win decisively over Sweden and Japan.

     Unfortunately, Team USA lost to Norway, 4-2, in the semifinals.  There was a questionable call that went against Team USA, but as in all sports, athletes must accept these breaks as they come, whether good or bad.  This led to Norway and Canada playing for the gold, which Canada won.

     The bronze was decided in a playoff, which quite fittingly, pitted Team USA against Team Germany.  The US avenged their first round loss by defeating Germany, 4-3, for the bronze medal.  Germany went home empty-handed.

     The game was decided by a tie-breaking goal that was netted at 11:53 in the third quarter.  This may have been the toughest, most exciting match in the entire winter hockey paralympics.

     Congratulations, Captain Joe, to you and your Team USA mates.

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