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Paralympic Sled Hockey Team Named USOC Team of the Month

04/04/2014, 1:45pm MDT
By USAHockey.com

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team has been named the U.S. Olympic Committee's Team of the Month for March, thanks to its gold-medal performance at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) is one of five nominees for the International Paralympic Committee's Best Male Athlete of March. Public voting is taking place at Paralympic.org through Wednesday (April 9). Farmer shared the Team USA lead in both goals (3) and points (5) at the Paralympics. He tallied two goals and an assist in the 3-0 semifinal win against Canada. In his Paralympic debut, the 16 year old notched a goal and an assist versus Italy.

Team USA received "Team of the Paralympic Games" honors at the U.S. Olympic Committee Best of U.S. Awards Show Wednesday (April 2) at Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. The inaugural event honored outstanding U.S. performances from the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

The U.S. became the first nation to win back-to-back Paralympic gold medals in sled hockey by defeating Russia, 1-0, in the gold-medal game March 15. Josh Sweeney (Phoenix, Ariz.) scored the game-winning goal and Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) made six saves. Overall, the U.S. posted preliminary round wins over Italy (5-1) and South Korea (3-0), plus a semifinal triumph against Canada (3-0). Team USA avenged its only loss, a 2-1 setback versus Russia in the preliminary round, by topping the host country in the gold medal rematch.

Yesterday (Thursday, April 3), Team USA visited the White House to take part in a celebration of 2014 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes, hosted by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.

Recent News

Date Result Opponent
Sat., March 8 W, 5-1 Italy
Sun., March 9 W, 3-0 South Korea
Tues., March 11 L, 1-2 Russia
Thurs., March 13 W, 3-0 Canada (Semifinals)
Sat., March 15 W, 1-0 Russia
(Gold Medal Game)

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Going cross-ice in Canada

03/27/2017, 3:15pm MDT
By USA Hockey

March 27, 2017 | When USA Hockey implemented its American Development Model in 2009, one element of the nationwide age-appropriate training blueprint sparked more debate than any other: cross-ice hockey for 8U players. In the years since, an abundance of evidence, both data-driven and anecdotal, has proven the developmental advantages of cross-ice hockey.

This week, Hockey Canada announced that it too will introduce its players to the game through cross-ice play beginning in 2017-18.

“Re-sizing the playing surface to cross-ice or half-ice means more puck touches, which result in more chances to practice puck control and shooting, as well as overall more movement and motor skill-development – twisting, turning, balance, coordination, agility,” said Paul Carson, vice-president of membership development for Hockey Canada, in a release today. “Their field-of-play matches their size, and these players hone in on their skill-development in a way that larger ice surfaces just aren’t conducive to.”

The Grassroots Show on Ottawa’s TSN 1200 weighed in on the decision. Click the audio link below to hear how Canada is embracing cross-ice hockey for the coming season and beyond.

Tom Renney, president and CEO of Hockey Canada, appeared on the Grassroots Show to discuss the nationwide shift to cross-ice hockey, beginning this fall for 5- and 6-year-olds and expanding to all of Canada's Novice (8U) level in 2018-19.

“When you see 10 or 12 or 14 or 16 kids out on the ice in between periods and they’re playing 200-by-85 and 3 or 4 kids touch the puck in that whole six minutes, yet there’s people in the stands clapping and thinking it’s wonderful, I just can’t help but think about the 95 percent of the children that didn’t even touch the puck or get from one end of the rink to the other and I ask myself what are we doing when the opportunity is certainly there to have 30 kids on the ice playing cross-ice and everyone is having a much better opportunity to touch the puck, skate a shorter distance and really play. It just boggles my mind,” said Renney.

“We completely embrace, at the Initiation level and the Novice level, cross-ice hockey and we have mandated that in the Initiation program and we will mandate it across the country in Novice hockey.

“This is about the pure enjoyment of the game, and your first connection with it has to be something that’s pure fun, on a surface of play that is conducive to much more participation and joy.”

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