COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The 2008-09 season culminates for the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team at the 2009 International Paralympic Committee Ice Sledge Hockey World Championship, set for May 9-16 in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The United States will look to build upon its bronze-medal finish at the event in 2008.
Team USA, which is comprised of two goaltenders, six defensemen and seven forwards, opens competition in the eight-team tournament on Saturday, May 9, against Italy.
The U.S. squad competed in a trio of international tournaments during the 2008-09 season, as well as a two-game exhibition series against Canada last month. At the first event of the season, the 2008 World Sled Hockey Challenge held in Prince Edward Island, Canada, in November, Team USA garnered a third-place finish with a 9-0 blanking of Japan, while Canada beat Norway for the championship.
Those same four teams then traveled to Nagano, Japan, in January, for the 2009 Japan Four Nations Tournament. There, the U.S. and Canada eventually battled it out for the title, with Team USA finishing second. Finally, the U.S., Canada, Japan and Germany met in late February at the 2009 Hockey Canada Cup in Vanouver, B.C., where Canada edged the U.S. in a shootout in the championship game.
Further, Team USA hosted Team Canada on March 20-21 in upstate New York for a two-game exhibition series that served as a final tune-up for the World Championship. Canada earned a pair of one-goal victories.
Team USA will travel to Rochester, N.Y., on May 2 for training prior to its May 4 departure for the Czech Republic.
The U.S. roster can be found here.
NOTES: The 2009 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championship will feature competition among Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Japan, Italy, Korea, Norway and the United States ... Canada won the event in 2008, while Norway captured the silver medal and the United States was the bronze-medal finisher ... The World Championship has been staged on four occasions (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008), with Team USA earning medals in each of the last two tournaments (2004-silver, 2008-bronze).
2009 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team Schedule
May 9-16 • Ostrava, Czech Republic • Sareza Stadium
|Sat., May 9||Italy||9 a.m./3 a.m.|
|Sun., May 10||Korea||12 p.m./6 a.m.|
|Tues., May 12||Norway||4 p.m./10 a.m.|
|Thurs., May 14||Semifinal||TBA|
|Sat., May 15||Bronze-Medal Game||TBA|