COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The gold-medal winning U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team is one of five nominees for the International Paralympic Committee's Best Team from the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Public voting is taking place at Paralympic.org through Tuesday (April 29).
The U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team was named the U.S. Olympic Committee's Team of the Month for March. Also, Team USA received "Team of the Paralympic Games" honors at the U.S. Olympic Committee Best of U.S. Awards Show April 2 at Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. The inaugural event honored outstanding U.S. performances from the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
The U.S. became the first nation to win back-to-back Paralympic gold medals in sled hockey by defeating Russia, 1-0, in the gold-medal game March 15. Josh Sweeney (Phoenix, Ariz.) scored the game-winning goal and Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) made six saves. Overall, the U.S. posted preliminary round wins over Italy (5-1) and South Korea (3-0), plus a semifinal triumph against Canada (3-0). Team USA avenged its only loss, a 2-1 setback versus Russia in the preliminary round, by topping the host country in the gold medal rematch.
On April 10, Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) was named the IPC's Best Male Athlete of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, as determined by a public vote.
Aug. 25, 2016 | Body-checking is a skill, not unlike skating, shooting and stickhandling, and it’s a critical skill to teach. Rhode Island Hockey recently gave it special emphasis with a free on-ice checking clinic open to all players in the 12U, 14U and 16U age classifications. Hosted at Schneider Arena with help from Providence College men’s hockey head coach Nate Leaman and Roger Grillo from USA Hockey, the two-hour clinic welcomed more than 100 players for station-based instruction in the fine art of giving and receiving a body check properly.
“Body contact is sometimes an under-taught skill, but there’s so much value in teaching it, both in terms of helping young players become more successful and also in terms of injury prevention,” said Grillo. “It was great to team up with the Rhode Island coaches and offer a learning opportunity that’ll pay dividends for these kids throughout their hockey careers.”
The event was so successful that Rhode Island Hockey will host a second session Sept. 8 at Boss Ice Arena on the University of Rhode Island campus in Kingston. Led by Kevin Sullivan, Rhode Island Hockey’s American Development Model director, the clinic will likely become an annual offering to enhance players’ skill and contact confidence, especially for 13-year-olds progressing into their first season of 14U hockey.
“The initial idea came from a parent asking if we offer any checking-specific training for players transitioning from 12U to 14U,” said Bob Larence, president of Rhode Island Hockey.
There’s a component of body-contact training that happens at every level, from cross-ice 8U to small-area battle drills for older players, but the idea of a body checking-specific teaching event for tweens and teens seemed a beneficial complement to that team-level training, so Rhody ran with it.
“We all thought it was a great idea, and ultimately, it became a great collaboration with Rhode Island Hockey, USA Hockey and the local colleges – Providence, URI and Brown,” said Larence.