SOCHI, Russia -- The U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team landed in Sochi early Sunday afternoon (March 2). After dropping off its bags at the Coastal Village and a quick meal at the cafeteria, it was off to Shayba Arena for the squad's first practice in three days.
The arena has received a slight update in the two weeks since the Olympics ended. The hallway floors are lined with sheets of hard plastic and the team benches have been frozen, allowing players to get in their sleds by the locker room and cruise right onto the ice in a matter of seconds.
It took less than 24 hours for the rivalry against Canada to be brough up by media. Head Coach Jeff Sauer discussed how the U.S. Paralympic Team is preparing for a potential showdown with Canada in the semifinals or medal round. Canada is the first seed in Group A, while USA has top billing in Group B.
"We watched both (men's and women's Olympic) games against Canada on TV and the guys have a commitment that they do not want to be the third team," Sauer told the Paralympic News Service. "The guys in our room know they are representing a pretty heavy thing here and have a chance to win a gold medal."
Team USA has four more days of practice before its opener vs. Italy on Saturday (March 8) at 7:30 a.m. ET. The game will be streamed live at TeamUSA.org.
Starting with the upcoming season, USA Hockey is launching a new online curriculum in our Officiating Education Program. In addition to the standard registration requirements, including application, open and closed book testing and attendance at a USA Hockey Officiating Seminar, every official must complete the online material prior to receiving their card and crest for 2014-15.
The online curriculum is designed to enhance educational experience with accurate and consistent officiating information. The online modules will be broken down into three categories. The first two requirements will include general and level-specific presentations. The third category will have elective courses from a variety of topics such as positioning, procedures, penalty criteria and the mental game. These electives will be level-specific and allow you to hone your officiating skills in areas you select.
The length of each presentation will vary depending on content and focus. The majority of the presentations will fall in the 5- to 10-minute range, followed by a short quiz reviewing the content. The entire online curriculum will take 3-5 hours to complete, depending on the level of the official. The in-person seminar each official will be required to attend will be abbreviated and designed to supplement the material presented in the online curriculum.
Instructions on accessing the online seminar will be sent to you upon receiving your USA Hockey application. The curriculum will be accessed through your USAHockey.com profile and can be completed at your leisure, meaning you can log out and log back in to pick up where you left off. Some presentations are designed to be viewed before attending the seminar as a means to improve the overall seminar experience. These will be highlighted for your consideration.
Officials will find this new system to be beneficial and it will make your overall USA Hockey experience a more valuable one. Let’s get the season off to a great start!