The 2019 Sled Series between the U.S. and Canada opens today at the Extreme Ice Center in Indian Trail, North Carolina. Puck drop is slated for 3:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on HockeyTV.com.
The two teams, which will meet again tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. ET, are facing off for the fourth time this season. Last December, the U.S. posted three wins against Canada en route to winning its fifth-straight Para Hockey Cup.
The Series will serve as a final tuneup ahead of the 2019 Para Ice Hockey World Championship that will be held in Ostrava, Czech Republic, from April 27-May 4. Taking place for the 10th time, the United States will enter the event seeking its fourth gold-medal after claiming the 2009, 2012 and 2015 world championships. This is the second time the tournament will take place in Ostrava, where the United States captured its inaugural world championship gold medal in 2009.
SERIES VS. CANADA
Since the 2014-15 season, the two teams have met 21 times, with the U.S. posting a 14-3-1-3 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record. All-time, the teams have met on 93 occasions with Team USA holding a 28-10-8-46-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T). A year ago, the two teams met in the gold-medal game of the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games where Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) scored with 30 seconds in regulation and tallied again 3:30 into overtime to give the U.S. an unprecedented third-straight Paralympic gold medal.
BACK IN NORTH CAROLINA
The Extreme Ice Center here in Indian Trail, North Carolina, is a common meeting spot for the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. The facility, which has hosted USA Hockey National Championships over the years, is one of the regular training sites for the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. From April 11-13, the U.S. will return for its final training camp ahead of the 2019 Para Ice Hockey World Championship that will take place in Ostrava, Czech Republic, from April 27-May 4.
Including the 2018 Para Hockey Cup last December, the U.S. has skated to a 48-4-1-3 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record over the last four seasons. Those 48 wins include a Paralympic gold (2018), two world championship medals (gold - 2015, silver - 2017), five-straight Para Hockey Cups (2015, 2016 (Jan.), 2016 (Dec.), 2017, 2018), the 2016 IPC Pan-Pacific Championship and the 2018 Turin Para Ice Hockey International Tournament.