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Gameday: U.S. Opens Sled Worlds Against Canada

By USAHockey.com, 04/27/19, 2:30AM MDT

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2018 Paralympic gold-medal game rematch opens U.S. tournament play

The United States opens play at the 2019 Para Ice Hockey World Championship tonight against Canada. Puck drop at Ostravar Arena is set for 6:30 p.m. local time (12:30 p.m. ET) and will be broadcast live in the U.S. on the Olympic Channel. Live streaming will also be available on olympicchannel.com.
     The two teams are facing off for the fifth time this season, with the U.S. owning a 3-1 record against Canada. The last three world championships have ended with the two teams facing off in the gold-medal game, where the U.S. has won one gold medal (2015) and settled for two silver medals (2013, 2017).

SERIES VS. CANADA
Since the 2014-15 season, the two teams have met 23 times, with the U.S. posting a 15-3-1-4 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record. All-time, the teams have met on 95 occasions with Team USA holding a 29-10-8-47-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T). A year ago, the two teams met in the gold-medal game of the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games where Declan Farmer scored with 30 seconds in regulation and tallied again 3:30 into overtime to give the U.S. an unprecedented third-straight Paralympic gold medal.

2018-19 SEASON OVERVIEW
Team USA's 2018-19 campaign started last July, with the 17-player U.S. roster selected following tryouts. From October to November, the U.S. held three training camps, including once with Team Norway in Madison, Wisconsin, before opening international competition at the 2019 Para Hockey Cup in London, Ontario. There, Team USA skated to a perfect 5-0 record to capture its fifth-straight title in the event. In March, the U.S. hosted Canada for a two-game series in Indian Trail, North Carolina, that resulted in the teams each skating away with one win. 

JOURNEY TO OSTRAVA
Team USA's journey to Ostrava, Czech Republic, started on Monday, April 22, with players and staff convening in Newark, New Jersey. From there, the team boarded a plane on Tuesday, April 23, and traveled overnight to Vienna, Austria, where the U.S. players and staff boarded a bus for a 3-hour trip to Ostrava. Since its arrival, Team USA has held two skates at Ostravar Arena ahead of today's tournament-opening game. 

2019 SLED WORLDS OVERVIEW
The 2019 Para Sled Hockey World Championship is set to take place from April 27-May 4 in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The U.S., which has captured three gold medals in the events' nine-year history, enters the event seeking a sixth-straight berth in the gold-medal game. In 2017, the event was held in Gangneung, South Korea, where the U.S. fell to Canada, 4-1. This is the second time the event will take place in Ostrava, which hosted the 2009 event and saw the U.S. capture its first-ever world championship. Joining the U.S. will be Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Japan, Norway, Korea and Sweden.

LEADING TEAM USA
David Hoff, USA Hockey's Northern Plains District Coach-In-Chief and assistant coach of last year's gold medal-winning 2018 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team, is in his first season as head coach of the 2018-19 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. This will be Hoff's third season with Team USA after making his debut in the 2016-17 season.
     Josh Pauls, who has helped the U.S. capture the gold medal in the last three Paralympic Winter Games (2010, 2014, 2018), is serving as captain of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. In addition, two-time Paralympic gold medalists (2014, 2018) Declan Farmer and Rico Roman are alternate captains.
     Pauls begins his 11th season with the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team and his second as team captain while Farmer is entering his seventh season with the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team and his second as an alternate captain. A Purple Heart recipient and U.S. Army Veteran, Roman is serving as an alternate captain for the first time as he begins his eighth season with Team USA.


Date Opponent Result U.S. Player of the Game Venue Broadcast
April 27 Canada W, 3-1 Noah Grove Ostravar Arena Olympic Channel - Live
April 28 South Korea W, 4-0 Josh Pauls Ostravar Arena Olympic Channel - Live
April 30 Norway W, 10-0 Luke McDermott Ostravar Arena Olympic Channel - Live
May 3 Czech Republic
Semifinals
W, 10-2 Jack Wallace Ostravar Arena Olympic Channel - Live
May 4 Canada
Gold-Medal Game
OTW, 3-2 Declan Farmer Ostravar Arena Olympic Channel - Live
NBCSN (5:30 p.m. ET)

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