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Sauer to Coach 2014 Paralympic Hockey Team

By USA Hockey, 02/19/13, 7:30AM MST

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Jeff Sauer (Madison, Wis.) has been named head coach of the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team it was announced today by USA Hockey. Sauer is currently in his second season serving as head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team.

In April 2012, Sauer guided Team USA to the gold medal at the International Paralympic Committee World Championship in Hamar, Norway. The U.S. will defend its world title this April in Goyang City, Korea, at the 2013 IPC World Championship.

"Jeff has been a terrific leader for our U.S. National Sled Hockey Team and he was the unquestionable choice for this position," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. "He has a wealth of coaching experience at so many levels and has translated that knowledge to the game of sled hockey."

 

  [Sauer-350]  

Sauer as Head Coach
of the U.S. National Sled Team 

Date  Event 
  Record (Place) 
 
Jan. 2013 USA Hockey Sled Cup 4-0-0 (1st)
Dec. 2012 World Sledge Hockey Challenge 4-1-0 (1st)
April 2012 IPC World Championship 4-1-0 (1st)
Feb. 2012 Series vs. Canada 1-2-0
Dec. 2011 World Sledge Hockey Challenge 3-2-0 (2nd)

 

U.S. Paralympic Hockey Team 
Coaches & Results

 

Year  Head Coach
  Record (Place) 
 
2010 Ray Maluta 5-0-0 (1st)
2006 Keith Blase 3-2-0 (3rd)
2002 Rick Middleton 6-0-0 (1st)
1998 Angelo Bianco 1-3-1 (6th)
1994 Did Not Compete --

"I'm excited and honored to be chosen for this position," said Sauer. "I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to be the head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team these last two seasons and I look forward to seeing this talented group of players through to next year's Paralympic Games in Sochi."

The U.S. Paralympic Hockey Team will compete in the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games March 7-16, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. The U.S. will be defending its gold medal from the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic Games, and seeking its fourth consecutive Paralympic Games medal (2002-gold; 2006-bronze).

Sauer has coached a wide array of U.S. teams throughout his career. He was the head coach of the U.S. Men's National Team at the 1995 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship in Stockholm, Sweden, and at the 1990 Goodwill Games in Seattle, Wash., along with serving as head coach for the U.S. Men's Select Team at the 1989 Pravda Cup in Leningrad, Soviet Union, and at the 1997 Tampere Cup in Tampere, Finland.

In addition, Sauer has been deeply involved with the U.S. Deaf Ice Hockey Teams. He will be the head coach of Team USA at the 2013 World Deaf Hockey Championship in Vantaa, Finland this April. Additionally, he has been the head coach of the last three Deaflympic Ice Hockey Teams, leading the U.S. to a gold-medal finish at the 2007 Winter Deaflympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Sauer also is currently a member of USA Hockey's International Council and Disabled Hockey Committee, and is president of the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association.

Sauer's illustrious 31-year NCAA Division I college coaching career featured 655 wins (seventh all-time) and two national championships, both of which came during his tenure with the University of Wisconsin (1983, 1990).

Sauer led Wisconsin to three NCAA Men's Frozen Four appearances, 12 NCAA tournament berths, six Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoff titles and two WCHA regular-season crowns in 20 seasons as head coach (1982-2002). He also spent 11 years (1971-82) as head coach of the men's ice hockey team at his alma mater, Colorado College, where he was twice named WCHA Coach of the Year (1972, 1975).
   
In 2011, Sauer was honored with the National Hockey League's Lester Patrick Trophy for his outstanding service to hockey in the United States. In 2000, he was recognized with USA Hockey's Distinguished Achievement Award. He was also named to the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004 and received the John 'Snooks' Kelly Founders Award from the American Hockey Coaches Association for his contributions to the overall growth and development of the sport of ice hockey in the U.S.

NOTES:Team USA has won the last three major international events, including the 2009 IPC World Sledge Hockey Championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic; the 2010 Paralympic Games in Vancouver, B.C.; and the 2012 IPC World Sledge Hockey Championship in Hamar, Norway ... During the 2012-13 season, the U.S. has won a pair of international tournaments; Team USA defeated Canada on Dec. 8 in the championship game of the 2012 World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Calgary, Alberta, and it topped Korea on Jan. 26 in the title game of the 2013 USA Hockey Sled Cup in Indian Trail, N.C. ... Currently, Sauer and the U.S. National Team are in suburban Ottawa, Ont., to play a three-game series vs. Canada Feb. 14-16 ... The appointment of Sauer is pending approval from the U.S. Olympic Committee ... The management of the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team is under the direction of USA Hockey's International Council, chaired by Tony Rossi. Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of USA Hockey, oversees all hockey operations for the organization and Dan Brennan is the general manager of the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team.

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Although the COVID-19 pandemic is still a reality, the USA Hockey Officiating Program is looking forward to getting everyone back on the ice in what will likely become the “new normal.”

As we get closer to minimizing the effect the virus has had on our everyday lives, the successful completion of our USA Hockey National Tournament series and the IIHF Under-18 World Championships is a promising indication that hockey is back and will be better than ever for the 2021-22 season. 

As early player registrations mirror those trends from prior to the pandemic, the following is some information as to what officials should expect over the summer months and for the start of next season.

 

SUMMER DEVELOPMENT CAMPS AND ADVANCED SYMPOSIUM ARE BACK!
The Summer Development Camp Program is being downsized slightly as some facilities are still not available this summer, but we have latched onto the USA Hockey Player Festivals to be able to provide a quality development experience for those officials who qualify.

The Advanced Officiating Symposium is scheduled for early August in Providence, Rhode Island.  USA Hockey is working closely with the host hotel to maximize participation while still adhering to state and local COVID-19 restrictions. The goal is to be able to accommodate everyone interested in attending this one-of-kind get together of top ice hockey officials in a dynamic and engaging program.

 

RULE CHANGES
USA Hockey is in the midst of our quadrennial rule changes process, meaning there will be an updated 2021-2025 version of the Playing Rules Book prior to the start of the season.

Although the fundamental structure of the game will not change, there are several rule changes likely to be adopted that will require officials to pay attention to their rule knowledge and commit to the proper application of the rules. Officials will play a major role in USA Hockey’s efforts to improve the culture of body checking and, in return, officials will be provided more support through organizational initiatives to curb abuse of officials and unsportsmanlike behavior.

 

REGISTRATION JUNE 1
Officials registration for the 2021-22 season will open on June 1. However, since the updated playing rules will not be adopted until the USA Hockey Annual Congress in mid-June, hard copies of the 2021-25 Officials Playing Rules and Casebook will not be available until early August. A summary of the adopted rule changes and a PDF version of the updated rulebook should be available relatively soon after the Annual Congress. As a result, the open book exam, online module curriculum and seminar program will become available during the week of June 21.

 

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One of the outcomes of the pandemic was it required us to take a hard look at our seminar program and make significant adjustments to best prepare our membership for success on the ice. Officials should look for the re-introduction (local restrictions permitted) of the in-person level 1 and level 2 seminars, with the level 1 format returning to an all-day seminar experience. The level 1 standardized seminar curriculum will include the online module curriculum as part of this experience in an effort to streamline their registration process. Level 2 officials will experience a half-day in-person seminar which will include an ice session. 

The virtual “zoom” classroom seminar appears to be here to stay for level 3 and level 4 officials, even though some areas may choose to also provide in-person seminars for our most experienced team members. Either way, the goal is to be able to accommodate the needs of all of our officiating members with options that provide flexibility and efficiency. The online module curriculum for level 3 and level 4 officials is also being modified to streamline their registration process without compromising the educational value.

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ADAPTING THE BEST WE CAN
The final thing to expect for the 2021-22 season? There will likely still be some restrictions and protocols that must be followed in certain local areas. The game may not look exactly like it did at the start of the 2019-20 season. Although we do not expect any full-fledged shutdowns as happened during the 2020-21 season, we will still need to be diligent and follow local guidelines in order to keep our game and its participants safe and on the ice. 

USA Hockey is excited about the opportunity to get everyone who was involved prior to the pandemic safely back on the ice. There is also huge growth potential as people feel more comfortable to get back into daily life and look for new ways to engage. There is no reason why hockey cannot be that avenue where everyone is welcomed, included and encouraged in a way that a lifelong passion for the game is nurtured.

USA Hockey thanks you for your continued support and your involvement in our programs.