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GAMEDAY: U.S. Faces Team Pan-Pacific To Open IPC Pan-Pacifics

03/29/2016, 9:45am EDT
By USAHockey.com

Puck Drop is Slated for 7 p.m. ET

TONIGHT'S GAME
The United States faces Team Pan-Pacific at HARBORCENTER (capacity: 1,800) to open preliminary round play here tonight at the 2016 IPC Sled Hockey Pan-Pacific Championship. The game will be streamed live on Paralympic.org/Buffalo-2016.

ABOUT THE TOURNAMENT
Four teams are set to compete in the first-ever IPC Sled Hockey Pan-Pacific Championship: Canada, Korea, Team Pan-Pacific and the United States. Team Pan-Pacific will be comprised of players from Canada, Japan and the United States. Tournament play will include a round-robin preliminary round in which the top two teams will advance to a winner-take-all championship game on Saturday, April 2.

CAPTAIN AMERICA
Josh Sweeney is serving as captain for the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team for the second consecutive season. Also returning are alternate captains Nikko Landeros and Josh Pauls. A year ago, the trio led Team USA to an undefeated season and a gold medal on home ice at the 2015 IPC Sled Hockey World Championship in Buffalo, New York.

‚ÄčLEADING THE WAY
Jeff Sauer, former men’s ice hockey head coach at the University of Wisconsin and 2014 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, is in his fifth season as head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. Last season, Sauer led Team USA to an undefeated 12-1-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record that culminated with a gold medal at the 2015 IPC Sled Hockey World Championship in Buffalo, New York. Since taking the helm in 2011, Sauer has guided Team USA to a 44-4-2-11 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record that includes reaching the championship game of every major international competition and titles in six major international events, including the 2016 World Sled Hockey Challenge in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia; the 2015 IPC Sled Hockey World Championship in Buffalo, New York; the 2015 World Sled Hockey Challenge in Leduc, Alberta; the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia; the 2012 World Sled Hockey Challenge in Calgary, Alberta; and the the 2012 IPC Sled Hockey World Championship in Hamar, Norway. 

SEEKING FIFTH STRAIGHT TITLE
A victory this week would give the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team its fifth straight international tournament title. In addition to claiming the 2016 World Sled Hockey Challenge in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, with a 3-2 overtime victory over Canada in January, the U.S. has claimed the 2015 IPC Sled Hockey World Championship in Buffalo, New York; the 2015 World Sled Hockey Challenge in Leduc, Alberta; and the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Team USA In Last 10 International Competitions

Year Tournament Finish
2016 World Sled Hockey Challenge First
2015 IPC Sled Hockey World Championship Gold
2015 World Sled Hockey Challenge First
2014 Paralympic Winter Games Gold
2013 World Sled Hockey Challenge Second
2013 IPC Sled Hockey World Championship Silver
2012 World Sled Hockey Challenge First
2012 IPC Sled Hockey Challenge (Nov.) Gold
2011 World Sled Hockey Challenge (Nov.) Second
2011 World Sled Hockey Challenge (Apr.) Third

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Tag(s): Sled  National Sled Team  Other Events  2016 IPC Pan-Pacific  2015-16 Season