skip navigation

2023 World Para Ice Hockey Championship Insider | Prepping for the Preliminary Round

By USA Hockey , 05/28/23, 12:00PM EDT


Follow along with Team USA's journey at the 2023 World Para Ice Hockey Championship

The 2023 World Para Ice Hockey Championship is taking place in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan from May 28-June 4, 2023. Stay tuned to this page throughout the tournament for an inside look at Team USA's journey. 

Team USA Roster

Schedule & Results

Tournament Home

May 27 | Prepping for the Preliminary Round

Following breakfast at the hotel, Team USA explored downtown Moose Jaw on Saturday morning, and the players gathered in a coffee shop one block away from the team hotel, where chess battles took place while they enjoyed coffee and croissants, which happens to be the favorite meal of Evan Nichols

Following lunch at the arena, the players prepared to take the ice for practice in the late afternoon, with players and staff alike remarking at noticeable improvements from the day prior after shaking some rust off and making need sled adjustments with the assistance of equipment manager Jake Visser and athletic trainer Mike Cortese. Players and coaches from several different nations packed the stands and tunnels to watch Team USA’s skate before dinner at the arena.

After dinner, players bussed back to the hotel where captain Josh Pauls led a players-only meeting before Griffin LaMarre took center stage as the host of Crease Convos. LaMarre interviewed several of his teammates, with questions ranging from best facial hair on the team to favorite jersey. Be sure to look out for the Crease Convos video series on USA Hockey’s social channels throughout the week.

Q&A – Brett Bolton

Throughout the 2023 World Para Ice Hockey Championship you’ll have a chance to learn more about the U.S. National Sled Team through our daily Q&A feature. Today we catch up with forward Brett Bolton.

Nickname? Bolty

Favorite artist? Kendrick Lamar

Favorite non-hockey activity? Track and Field

Best bromance on the team? Me and Jen Lee

Best dressed? David Eustace

TV show you are binging? The Boys

May 26 | Picture Day

Thanks to a later-than-usual start time for Team USA’s opening practice of the tournament, the players and staff took advantage of the opportunity to sleep in before 9:30 a.m. breakfast on Friday morning, followed by an afternoon of rest before 12:45 p.m. lunch at the arena.

The players returned to Moose Jaw Events Centre in the evening for classification and equipment checks before practice. Several players, including Travis Dodson, took in an exhibition game between Germany and Korea from the stands and the tunnel as Team USA waited to take the ice. A benefit of staying just a quarter mile from the arena is the opportunity for players and staff to watch other games throughout the week with ease during downtime. 

At 5:15 p.m., players and staff posed for a team photo at center ice before the coaches broke out the pucks for the team’s first practice of the tournament, which was an hour-long, high-energy session after two long days of travel. Players from China and Italy populated the red seats of the Moose Jaw Events Centre, looking on as the U.S. worked some rust off in its first practice as a full team since a late-April training camp in Madison, Wisconsin.

Brody Roybal walked USA Hockey’s content coordinator Brianna Rhone through the different parts of his sled and sticks for a “Gear Talk” segment after practice, and the team ventured through the arena tunnels to dinner, where captain Josh Pauls was pleasantly surprised by the Thanksgiving turkey dinner buffet options.

Q&A – Jen Lee

Throughout the 2023 World Para Ice Hockey Championship you’ll have a chance to learn more about the U.S. National Sled Team through our daily Q&A feature. Today we catch up with goaltender Jen Lee.

Nickname? Jenners, The Bottomless Pit

Favorite artist? Lady Gaga

Favorite non-hockey activity? I love motorcycles. I’m also into watching movies.

Best bromance on the team? Griffin and Brody, it’s sparking all the time.

Best dressed? Brody’s got some good shirts; I think right now Jack and Brody are top of my list. Chris Douglas has a good wardrobe too from up north.

TV show you are binging? It was Ted Lasso, now I’m just waiting for The Mighty Ducks to come back on Disney Plus.

May 25 | Journey to “The Jaw”

Following a team breakfast Thursday morning, several players returned to North Hill Bowl to try and take down Kevin McKee and his elusive high score of 180. Players and staff gathered for lunch at 12:00 p.m., and soon after, loaded up the bus for the 270-mile trek to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

After a smooth five-hour bus ride and border crossing into Canada thanks to Craig the bus driver, the team arrived in downtown Moose Jaw, where players and staff checked into their hotel rooms before unloading equipment around the corner at the Moose Jaw Events Centre, home of the 2023 World Para Ice Hockey Championship. Local youth hockey players served as volunteers for the day, helping teams unload gear and set up locker rooms throughout the afternoon upon arrival.

After getting the locker room prepped for the busy days ahead, the team had dinner at the arena along with the seven other squads competing in the World Championship, and friendly greetings were exchanged as players enjoyed the chicken and bacon soup, spring rolls, salad bar, and buffet-style beef and chicken with rice. 

Q&A – Malik Jones 

Throughout the 2023 World Para Ice Hockey Championship you’ll have a chance to learn more about the U.S. National Sled Team through our daily Q&A feature. We start with forward Malik Jones, who’s making his World Championship debut in Moose Jaw. 

Nickname? The Wizard

Favorite artist? Drake

Favorite non-hockey activity? Playing basketball

Best bromance on the team? Declan and Brody

Best dressed? Jen Lee

TV show you are binging? The Flash

May 24 | Meeting in Minot

Players and staff for the U.S. National Sled Team arrived in Minot, North Dakota, on Wednesday (May 24) throughout the morning and afternoon, ahead of the team’s bus ride to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, on Thursday. Head coach David Hoff’s family provided a warm welcome for the team, and transported players, suitcases, and hockey gear from Minot International Airport to the hotel.

The players to arrive earliest in Minot on Wednesday were able to find ice time at Meysa Arena, home of the NAHL’s Minot Minotauros, thanks to the connections of North Dakota native Chris Douglas. Later in the day, several members of the team ventured to North Hill Bowl, where Kevin McKee proved to be a savant, bowling an alleged high score of 180.