COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The 2010 Paralympic Sled Hockey Team roster, which features nine athletes who have participated in at least one Paralympic Winter Games, was announced today by USA Hockey. The roster is pending approval by the United States Olympic Committee.
The 15-member team will represent the United States at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, March 13-20, in Vancouver, B.C.
"Trimming this roster from 18 to 15 was extremely difficult," said Ray Maluta, head coach of the 2010 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team and head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team since 2008. "We're confident that the group we're bringing to Vancouver gives us the best chance to take home gold."
For a video interview with Maluta, click here.
Forward Joe Howard (Kingston, Mass.) is the only member of the roster to have played in multiple Paralympic Winter Games, having been a member of every U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team since the country's first appearance in 1998.
Eight additional 2006 Paralympic Winter Games veterans were selected to the final roster, including goalie Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.); defensemen Taylor Chace (Hampton Falls, N.H.) and Jimmy Connelly (Galloway, N.J.) and Andy Yohe (Bettendorf, Iowa); and forwards Brad Emmerson (Amherst, N.Y.), Tim Jones (Mt. Ephraim, N.J.), Taylor Lipsett (Mesquite, Texas) and Alexi Salamone (Grand Island, N.Y.).
Paralympic Winter Games newcomers include goalie Mike Blabac (Buffalo, N.Y.); defenseman Nikko Landeros (Berthoud, Colo.); and forwards Adam Page (Lancaster, N.Y.), Josh Pauls (South Plainfield, N.J.), Greg Shaw (Park City, Utah) and Bubba Torres (Riverside, N.J.) complete the roster.
NOTES: Team USA captured bronze at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, and won gold at the 2002 Paralympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah ... The U.S. enters the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games as the top seed after capturing its first-ever International Paralympic Committee World Ice Sledge Hockey Championship last May in Ostrava, Czech Republic ... The 2010 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team will compete at the Japan Para Ice Sledge Hockey Championships in Nagano, Japan, Jan. 19-24, in preparation for the upcoming 2010 Paralympic Winter Games ... The 15 members chosen for the 2010 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team came from the roster of the 2009-10 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team that won the 2009 World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown, P.E.I., in November 2009 ... For complete coverage of the 2009-10 U.S.