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USA Women's Sledge Hockey Team Sweeps in Norway

By Tom Koester and Lori Brake, 09/11/13, 9:30AM MDT


On September 6-8, 2013 The USA Women’s Sledge Hockey Team and the European Women’s Sledge Hockey Team descended on Hφnefoss, Norway to play a competitive weekend of games and celebrate women’s participation in the sport of Sledge Hockey.

Over the course of the weekend, the two teams played four hard fought contests and at the end of the weekend, the US team prevailed, winning all four games. Despite their dominance on the scoreboard, the scores do not reflect the competitiveness of each game and how well both teams played.

Team USA was led by Kelsey DiClaudio who was the leading scorer for the US team with 9 goals and 4 assists followed by Erica Mitchell with 7 goals and 5 assists. Karen Smith played great this weekend as the US goalkeeper that was aided by a great defense in front of her, and allowed only one goal by her throughout the entire tournament. Two rookies on the team, Morgan Hosbrough and Robynne Elizabeth Hill scored their first goals with the team and one of our veteran defense members, Kelly Lavoie scored her first international goal. Team Europe received superb goaltending from Annet Manniksma and Eline van der Gaag and great support from Stine Frydenlund, Amalie Ystebφ and from Lena Schrφder whom was outstanding and scored the goal for her team.

The games this weekend between all female teams was a continuance of International play started in 2007 between the US and Canadian women and made stronger 2 years ago when all three teams met for a tournament together. It is the hope of the IPC to make female sledge hockey a medal sport in the 2022 Paralympics and these teams are working hard to make this become a possibility.

Coach Espen Hegde of Team Europe and Shawna Davidson of the US team were pleased with the performances of their players. They are invested in the continued growth of the women’s programs and are encouraged by the consistent improvement of all facets of their players’ games as well as the start of an influx of new female players to the sport.