Defending Paralympic gold medalst Team USA learned its path to the country's third gold medal when the International Paralympic Committee formally announced the eight-team field for the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
The U.S. will be in Group B, joined by Russia, South Korea and Italy. Last April, Team USA earned the silver medal at the IPC World Championship in Goyang, South Korea. The U.S. defeated Russia, the eventual bronze medalist, in the semifinal round of that tournament. South Korea and Italy are the sixth and seventh seeds in the Paralympics following strong performances at last week's IPC Qualification Tournament.
Group A consists of Canada, the top seed for the Paralympics, as well as the Czech Republic, Norway and Sweden.
Following round-robin play within the groups, the top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinals.
Team USA plays its first international games of the 2013-14 season in early December at the World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Toronto. The schedule includes games against Canada and Russia.
Notes: Eighteen players were named to the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team on July 24. Team USA's roster will be trimmed to 17 players by Jan. 1, 2014, to conform to the Paralympic Games roster limit … Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) and Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.J.) were named IPC Ones to Watch leading up to the Paralympic Winter Games ... Nine players return from the 2010 U.S. squad that captured the gold medal at the 2010 Paralympic Games in Vancouver, B.C., including goaltender Steve Cash; defensemen Taylor Chace (Hampton Falls, N.H.), Nikko Landeros (Johnstown, Colo.), Josh Pauls and Andy Yohe (Bettendorf, Iowa); and forwards Taylor Lipsett (Plano, Texas), Adam Page (Lancaster, N.Y.), Alexi Salamone (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Greg Shaw (Merritt Island, Fla.). Cash, Chace, Lipsett, Salamone and Yohe also received bronze medals at the 2006 Paralympic Games in Torino, Italy.