The 2018 Para Hockey Cup got underway today here in London, Ontario. After Team USA hits the ice for a practice at 11:30 a.m. ET, Canada blanked South Korea, 7-0, in the tournament-opening tilt.
The U.S. enters as four-time defending champions in the event having won the 2015, 2016 (Jan.), 2016 (Dec.) and 2017 events. Previously referred to as the World Sled Hockey Challenge, the 2018 Para Hockey Cup is taking place for the 12th time and will feature the three medalists from the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea: the United States (gold), Canada (silver) and South Korea (bronze). In all 11 editions of the event, Team USA has earned a tournament-best six titles and a 31-4-1-12 all-time record.
TEAM USA BOASTS SEVEN U.S. MILITARY VETERANS
Seven players on the 2018-19 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team hold military backgrounds from the U.S. Army and U.S. Marines. The veterans include four U.S. Marines in Ralph DeQuebec (San Pedro, Calif.), Travis Dodson (Deming, N.M.) Luke McDermott (Westerlo, N.Y.) and Josh Sweeney (Portland, Ore.) and three U.S. Army veterans in Rico Roman (Portland, Ore.), Jen Lee(San Francisco, Calif.) and U.S. Army Ranger Josh Hargis (Colorado Springs, Colo.). Lee, McDermott, Roman and Sweeney all took part in their rehabilitation programs in San Antonio, where they all at one point skated for the San Antonio Rampage's sled hockey program.
U.S. military veterans Jen Lee and Josh Sweeney will skate together for Team USA for the first time since the 2013-14 season