COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Road to Sochi for the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team begins this weekend (Sept. 5-7) when it convenes for the first time at training camp in Williamsville, N.Y.
The training camp will be highlighted by the Team USA Ambassador Program, an athlete education program that guides athletes through what it means to be an ambassador for their sport and country, how to embrace and maximize their role as a role model, and to consider the legacy and impact they hope to create. A segment of the program will include David Backes (Minneapolis, Minn./St. Louis Blues/Minnesota State Univ.) speaking about his experience representing the United States at the Olympic Games. Backes, who plays for the National Hockey League's St. Louis Blues, helped the U.S. capture the silver medal in men's ice hockey at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“This is an exciting time for all of us as we prepare to defend our 2010 Paralympic gold medal,” said Dan Brennan, general manager of the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team. “We had an outstanding tryout in July and now the hard work comes as we start the season. Having an Olympian like David Backes visit us this opening weekend will really drive home the reality that the Paralympics are just six months away.”
Following training camps in Madison, Wis. (Oct. 3-5) and St. Louis, Mo. (Nov. 7-9), Team USA faces international competition Dec. 1-7 at the 2013 World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Toronto, Ont. The U.S. is the defending champion of the four-team tournament.
Next, the U.S. will host Canada Jan. 9-11 for a three-game series in Indian Trail, N.C.
Final preparation for the Paralympic Games includes a pair of training camps: Feb. 15-23 in Indian Trail, N.C., and Feb. 26-27 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Team USA is set to arrive in Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games on March 2. Preliminary round play starts March 8 and the medal round is scheduled for March 15.
NOTES: Eighteen players were named to the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team on July 24. Team USA's roster will be trimmed to 17 players by Jan. 1, 2014, to conform to the Paralympic Games roster limit … Nine players return from the 2010 U.S. squad that captured the gold medal at the 2010 Paralympic Games in Vancouver, B.C., including goaltender Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.); defensemen Taylor Chace (Hampton Falls, N.H.), Nikko Landeros (Johnstown, Colo.), Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.J.) and Andy Yohe (Bettendorf, Iowa); and forwards Taylor Lipsett (Plano, Texas), Adam Page (Lancaster, N.Y.), Alexi Salamone (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Greg Shaw (Merritt Island, Fla.). Cash, Chace, Lipsett, Salamone and Yohe also received bronze medals at the 2006 Paralympic Games in Torino, Italy … Dan Brennan (Colorado Springs, Colo.), director of sled and inline national teams for USA Hockey, is serving as the general manager of the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team ... Jeff Sauer (Madison, Wis.) is in his third season as head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team … Guy Gosselin (Grafton, Wis.), American Development Model regional manager for USA Hockey, is in his third season as an assistant coach for the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team.
|Sept. 5-7||Training Camp||Williamsville, N.Y.|
|Oct. 3-5||Training Camp||Madison, Wis.|
|Nov. 7-9||Training Camp||St. Louis, Mo.|
|Dec. 1-7||2013 World Sledge Hockey Challenge||Toronto, Ont.|
|Jan. 9-11||Series vs. Canada||Indian Trail, N.C.|
|Feb. 15-23||Training Camp||Indian Trail, N.C.|
|Feb. 26-27||Training Camp||Colorado Springs, Colo.|
|March 8-15||2014 Paralympic Winter Games||Sochi, Russia|