Buffalo 2015: Three must-see matchups

Which three preliminary round games will be the most exciting for viewers at the IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships A-Pool? 26 Apr 2015
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NOR vs. SWE Norweigen player Rolf Einar Pedersen defends puck against two Sweedish players

NOR vs. SWE Norweigen player Rolf Einar Pedersen defends puck against two Sweedish players

ⒸLieven Coudenys
By Stuart Lieberman | For the IPC

This is a rematch of the Sochi 2014 gold-medal game. Need we say more? Well, we will.

The preliminary rounds of the 2015 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships A-Pool begins on Sunday (26 April), with eight teams set to play 12 games during the first stage of the tournament. All games will take place at the HARBORCENTER in Buffalo, New York, USA.

Here are three preliminary round games viewers will not want to miss:

RUSSIA-USA

Sunday (26 April) at 8pm (ET)

This is a rematch of the Sochi 2014 gold-medal game. Need we say more? Well, we will. The US won that game, 1-0, behind Josh Sweeney’s goal, and beat the Russians 2-1 in overtime earlier this season in the final of the World Sledge Hockey Challenge. Everybody in the USA and Russia knows the historic hockey rivalry between the two nations on the able-bodied side of the sport, and it has started to carry over to the sledge hockey side. This time around, though, unlike Sochi, Russia are now coming into the USA’s house with nothing to lose.

ITALY-GERMANY

Sunday (26 April) at 4.30pm (ET)

These two teams are starting to become mirror images of each other – both having a group of strong veterans along with a new core of up-and-coming youth. Germany have not qualified for the Paralympics since 2006 and are looking to make the Games again in 2018. Italy are the reigning European champions, but have escaped relegation to the B-Pool multiple times since Vancouver 2010. The winner of this game will most likely secure an A-Pool spot for the 2017 World Championships.

CANADA-NORWAY

Monday (27 April) at 9.30am (ET)

This has been the bronze-medal matchup at the last two Paralympics. At Vancouver 2010, Norway upset Canada on their home ice, while at Sochi 2014, Canada gained revenge to finish third. Both teams have new coaches this season, and have the potential to medal in Buffalo. Expect a Greg Westlake-Rolf Pedersen matchup to highlight this contest.

CHAMPIONSHIP COVERAGE

Live coverage of all the games at the World Championships, along with results, statistics and ticket information can be found at www.Buffalo2015.com.

Full details about where games can be viewed nationally can also be found at Buffalo2015.com.

IPC Ice Sledge Hockey will tweet live updates from on site in Buffalo from @IPCISH and is encouraging all fans to use the #Buffalo2015 hashtag when tweeting about the tournament.

Images from the Championships are available at www.Flickr.com/Photos/Parlaympic. Media wishing to receive high-resolution images should contact [email protected]