With Shinobu Fukushima and Mitsuru Nagase splitting time between the posts, and Satoru Sudo and Takahashi’s top shots, Japan are hoping they have all the right tools to claim a Sochi 2014 spot in Torino.
The top three finishers from the IPC Ice Sledge Hockey Qualification Tournament will qualify for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
Here's a brief overview of Japan's ice sledge hockey team as they head to Torino, where they will challenge Italy, South Korea, Sweden, Germany and Japan for one of the Paralympic spots.
The last four years have been a roller coaster for Japan’s ice sledge hockey team.
After winning a shock silver medal at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics, Japan finished in a disappointing seventh place at the next World Championships A-Pool in 2012.
They revived themselves earlier this year at the World Championships B-Pool on their home ice in Nagano, where Kazuhiro Takahashi led all scorers in the tournament with eight goals and an assist to help Japan claim silver.
Just six of the 15 players from Japan’s Vancouver 2010 roster are still with the team, including 43-year-old veteran Mamoru Yashikawa, who played at the Nagano 1998 Paralympics.
But with Shinobu Fukushima and Mitsuru Nagase splitting time between the posts, and Satoru Sudo and Takahashi’s top shots, Japan are hoping they have all the right tools to claim a Sochi 2014 spot in Torino.
Kazuhiro Takahashi (forward); Daisuke Uehara (forward); Satoru Sudo (defenceman)
Last Paralympic appearance
Vancouver 2010 – Silver medal