Tryouts for the 2017-18 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team will take place Saturday and Sunday (July 15-16) at Northtown Center in Williamsville, New York.
"Our tryout this year is unique in the fact that it not only serves as the formal tryout for our national team, but it's also the beginning of the selection process for our Paralympic roster, which we'll finalize later this year," said Dan Brennan (Colorado Springs, Colo.), director of sled hockey for USA Hockey and general manager of the 2017-18 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team and 2018 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team. “With the Paralympics just eight months away and our talent pool being deeper than it has ever been, we anticipate this being the toughest tryout in program history.”
Guy Gosselin (Grafton, Wis.), who led Team USA to a silver medal at the 2017 Para Sled Hockey World Championship in Gangneung, South Korea, will serve as head coach of the 2017-18 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team and 2018 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team. This will be Gosselin's second Paralympic Winter Games after serving as an assistant coach for the gold medal-winning 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team in Sochi, Russia. Joining Gosselin on the bench is assistant coach David Hoff (Bottineau, N.D.), while the support staff will include Mike Cortese (Boynton Beach, Fla.), equipment manager Joel Isaacson (Houghton, Mich.) and team physician Mike Uihlein (Grafton, Wis.). Cortese, Isaacson and Uihlein were all members of Team USA's Paralympic gold medal-winning staff in 2014.
The 2017-18 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team will be comprised of 15 players and is expected to be announced later this month.
Team USA seeks its third-straight Paralympic gold medal in 2018
Preceding the tryouts is the 2017 USA Hockey Sled Hockey Player Development Camp, which began Sunday (July 9) at Northtown Center and will conclude on Friday (July 14). Sixty male and female sled hockey players ages 13-38 will take part in the six-day camp, which will include daily practices and games.
The purpose of the 2017 USA Hockey Sled Hockey Player Development Camp is to identify, train and educate the top sled hockey athletes in the United States. Players attending the camp will be evaluated for possible selection to the U.S. National Development Sled Hockey Team, which will compete in various national and international events during the 2017-18 season.
NOTES: Labatt USA is a proud sponsor of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team ... The tryouts are open to all disabled sled hockey players 15 years of age or older. For more information, contact Dan Brennan at DanB@usahockey.org ... Athletes invited to the camp are chosen by the Player Development Committee from recommendations of sled hockey coaches nationwide ... For more information, click here.