The 2018 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team opens play at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games against Japan. Puck drop is set for 12 p.m. local time (10 p.m. ET, March 10) at Gangneung Hockey Center and will be broadcast live on NBCSN as well as nbcolympics.com.
This is the third meeting between the two teams this season after the U.S. topped Japan by scores of 8-0 and 9-0 at the 2018 Turin Para Ice Hockey International Tournament in January.
2018 PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES
The U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team, which was named on Jan. 1, 2018, is playing in Group B alongside the Czech Republic, Japan and host South Korea. Group A includes Canada, Italy, Norway and Sweden.
All-time, the U.S. owns an 18-1-0-6-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T) record through six Paralympic Winter Games. Among its Group B opponents, Team USA has faced Japan, South Korea and the Czech Republic a combined 10 times, registering an 8-2 record. After a sixth place finish in its Paralympic debut in 1998, the U.S. has claimed four-straight Paralympic medals, including three gold medals (2002, 2010, 2014) and one bronze medal (2006). Its three Paralympic gold medals are most in Paralympic history.
THINGS WORTH MENTIONING
The 2018 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team arrived in Korea on March 3, 2018 ... The 2018 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team roster was unveiled on Jan. 1, 2018 at the 2018 NHL Winter Classic ... Team USA claimed two international titles this season, including the 2017 World Sled Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown, P.E.I. last December and the 2018 Turin Para Ice Hockey International Tournament in January ... Guy Gosselin, a two-time Olympian (1988, 1992) with the U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team is head coach of the 2018 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team ... Team USA's captain is defenseman Josh Pauls, while its alternate captains are defenseman Nikko Landeros and forward Declan Farmer ... Since 2011, the U.S. has reached 11 straight title games in major international events, winning nine championships.
The United States enters the Paralympic Winter Games as two-time defending Paralympic gold medalists with the chance to become the first nation to win three-straight Paralympic gold medals in sled hockey. After going undefeated and unscored upon to claim the gold medal at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, Team USA became the first nation to claim back-to-back Paralympic gold medals in sled hockey when it defeated Russia, 1-0, in the gold-medal game of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Of the 17 players on this year's roster, 10 were part of that 2014 gold-medal winning team.
CHICAGO RESIDENCY PREPS TEAM USA
From Jan. 6 through March 1, the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team resided in Chicago, where it lived and trained as a team in prepration for the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. The team utilized ice time at West Meadows Ice Arena in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.
HEAVY HEARTS FOR TEAM USA
For Team USA, heavy hearts will be part of the equation here at the Paralympics. In February 2017, the team lost head coach, Jeff Sauer, who passed away due to pancreatic cancer. Head coach from 2012-17, Sauer led Team USA to an unprecedented level of success that included two world championships (2012, 2015) and the gold medal at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. In addition, Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of USA Hockey and general manager of the 2018 U.S. Olympic men’s ice hockey team, passed away in his sleep at his home in Colorado Springs. Johannson was a childhood teammate and eventual two-time Olympic teammate with U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey head coach Guy Gosselin. To recognize Gosselin and Sauer, Team USA has decals for both hanging in the Team USA locker room.
HOW WE GOT HERE
Entering the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, the United States holds a record of 11-0-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) that includes championship wins at both of its international tournaments: the 2017 World Sled Hockey Challenge last December and the 2018 Turin Para Ice Hockey International Tournament last January. Team USA's final competition ahead of the Paralympics included a home-and-home Border Series with Canada in February that saw each team claim one win. After the U.S. won, 2-1, on home ice in Buffalo, New York, it fell to Canada, 3-0, in Port Colborne, Ontario.
|Sun., March 11||Japan
|W, 10-0||Gangneung Hockey Centre|
|Mon., March 12||Czech Republic
|W, 10-0||Gangneung Hockey Centre|
|Tues., March 13||Korea
|W, 8-0||Gangneung Hockey Centre|
|Thurs., March 15||Italy
|W, 10-1||Gangneung Hockey Centre|
|Sun., March 18||Canada
|W, 2-1 (OT)||Gangneung Hockey Centre|