The International Paralympic Committee today named U.S. National Sled Hockey Team members Steve Cash, Declan Farmer and Josh Pauls three of 11 players to watch in the 2016-17 sled hockey season leading up to the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Cash enters 2016-17 having backstopped Team USA to 73 wins since the outset of the 2007-08 season. Cash’s 2015-16 season was highlighted by leading the U.S. to a perfect 5-0-0-0 record at the 2015 IPC Sled Hockey World Championship with a 0.26 goals against average, 0.97 save percentage, and four shutouts.
A Paralympic gold medalist at both the 2014 and 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, Cash has also helped lead Team USA to three gold medals at the IPC Sled Hockey World Championships (2009, 2012, 2015), four World Sled Hockey Challenge titles (2009, 2012, 2015, 2016) and the 2016 IPC Pan-Pacific Championship. He received an ESPY award as the 2010 Best Athlete With a Disability after stopping all 33 shots he faced over five games at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia.
A gold medalist at the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia, Farmer is coming off of a 2015-16 season in which he amassed 19 points (8-11) in 17 games, including a tournament-leading 13 points (7-6) at the 2016 (Jan.) World Sled Hockey Challenge in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. Farmer also netted the game-winning goal against Canada in the gold-medal game at the 2015 IPC Sled Hockey World Championship in Buffalo, New York.
In total, Farmer has totaled 73 points (38-35) in 52 games in a Team USA sweater while helping the U.S. earn gold at the 2015 IPC Sled Hockey World Championship, three World Sled Hockey Challenge titles (2012, 2015, 2016 (Jan.) and the 2016 IPC Pan-Pacific Championship crown. He received an ESPY award from ESPN as the 2014 Best Male Athlete with a Disability.
Pauls enters his ninth season with the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team and third as an alternate captain in 2016-17. For his performances in 2015-16, Pauls was named Best Defenseman by the directorate at both the 2016 IPC Pan-Pacific Championship and 2015 IPC Sled Hockey World Championship. He also netted the overtime winner for the second straight World Sled Hockey Challenge last January in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.
Overall, Pauls has helped the U.S. capture nine major international competitions, including two Paralympic Winter Games (2014, 2010), two IPC Sled Hockey World Championships (2015, 2012), four World Sled Hockey Challenges (2016 (Jan.), 2015, 2012, 2009) and most recently the 2016 IPC Pan-Pacific Championship.
Team USA, winners of five-straight major international competitions, opens the 2016-17 campaign next month at the 2016 (Dec.) World Sled Hockey Challenge from Dec. 4-10 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.