The U.S. National Sled Hockey Team faces host Italy in the championship game of the 2018 Turin Para Ice Hockey International Tournament here in Turin, Italy. Puck drop is set for 10 a.m. local time/4 a.m. ET.
Team USA is 8-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T) all-time against Italy. The two teams opened tournament play against one another, with the U.S. claiming a 6-0 victory. Josh Misiewicz (La Grange, Ill.) and Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) each tallied a goal and an assist while Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) registered the shutout.
This is the fourth U.S.-Italy meeting this season after the two teams met twice at the 2017 World Sled Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown, P.E.I. There, the U.S. captured a 10-0 preliminary round win before topping Italy, 5-0, in the semifinal round en route to claiming an unprecedented fourth-straight title in the event.
THINGS WORTH KNOWING
A win today would give the U.S. a championship for the eighth time in the last nine major international events ... After this event, the U.S. will play a home-and-home Border Series against Canada in Buffalo, New York, and Port Colborne, Ontario, from Feb. 7-11 ... Last Sunday (Jan. 21), Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of USA Hockey and the general manager of the 2018 U.S. Olympic men’s ice hockey team, passed away in his sleep at his home in Colorado Springs. His memorial service took place yesterday (Jan. 25) in Colorado Springs.
HOW WE GOT HERE
The journey to today's championship game for Team USA began in Chicago, where the team recently relocated to train together through the Paralympic Winter Games in March. On January 19, the team left Chicago and arrived in Turin, Italy, where it held a pair of practices before opening tournament play on Jan. 22. Three wins in three-straight days over Italy (6-0), Japan (8-0) and Norway (8-0) culminated in an off-day that the team spent in Milan. Yesterday (Jan. 26), the team returned to the ice where it blanked Japan (9-0) to reach its 11th straight championship game in major international events.
Entering today's championship game, Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.) paced all skaters with nine goals and 14 points while Josh Misiewicz (La Grange, Ill.) sits first in assists (9) and second in points (12). U.S. alternate captains Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) and Nikko Landeros (Johnstown, Colo.) are share third place in both goals (4) and points (8). Among goaltenders, both Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) and Jen Lee (San Francisco, Calif.) have yet to concede a goal.
2018 U.S. PARALYMPIC ROSTER UNVEILED JAN. 1, 2018
On January 1, 2018, the 2018 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Roster was unveiled during the second intermission of the 2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citi Field in New York City.
The 17-player roster includes 10 players who won the gold medal at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games as well as four players (Steve Cash, Nikko Landeros, Adam Page, Josh Pauls) who have won two Paralympic gold medals (2010 - Vancouver, 2014 - Sochi). Cash also earned a bronze medal at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games here in Torino, Italy.
On site for the announcement was general manager Dan Brennan (Colorado Springs, Colo.), captain Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.J.), alternate captain Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.), goaltender Steve Cash(Overland, Mo.) and forward Brody Roybal (Northlake, Ill.).