Eleven ice sledge hockey players to watch this seasonIPC Ice Sledge Hockey has revealed its list of 11 ice sledge hockey players to watch in the 2016-17 season, which will feature the A-Pool and B-Pool World Championships. 21 Nov 2016
Both competitions are key stops on the road to the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. The top five finishers from the World Championships A-Pool will directly qualify for PyeongChang 2018. The bottom three teams from the A-Pool event and the top three teams from the B-Pool event will then compete at the Qualification Tournament in 2017.
The 2016 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey B-Pool World Championships get underway in Tomakomai, Japan, from 28 November-3 December. The destination for the 2017 A-Pool edition is set to be announced soon.
More information about Tomakomai 2016 can be found at event's website.
The athletes on the Ones to Watch list have multiple Paralympic Winter Games and World Championships under their belts.
Full biographies can be found at Tomakomai 2016 website.
The Ones to Watch are:
Brad Bowden, Canada
Bowden’s experience at the international level will be crucial in tight situations for Canada as they prepare for the next Paralympic Winter Games. As a quadruple Paralympian, Bowden has also been involved in six of Canada’s medal-winning performances at World Championships including silver from 2015.
Greg Westlake, Canada
Canada’s team captain for 2016-17, Westlake enters his sixth season at the helm of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic bronze medallists. A well respected forward, Westlake is targeting a gold medal for his team at PyeongChang 2018.
Florian Planker, Italy
A double Paralympian, Planker helped Italy to their best ever finish at a Worlds in 2015 when they secured fifth place. He was also instrumental in their silver medal from the 2016 European Championships.
Rolf Pedersen, Norway
Pedersen has helped steer Norway to three Paralympic and four World Championships medals. He was also on the roster when they secured bronze at the 2016 European Championships.
Seung-Hwan Jung, South Korea
An ambassador for PyeongChang 2018, Jung hopes to bring his team the closest they have ever been to a Paralympic medal. He was named Best Forward at the 2015 Worlds B-Pool when his team secured promotion back to the A-pool with gold.
Steve Cash, USA
The world and Paralympic champions would not be where they are today without one of their most trusted goaltenders. Cash has recorded more than 1,000 saves in his nine seasons in the crease with a 1.31 goals against average.
Josh Pauls, USA
Last season Josh Pauls put in his second best ever points performance for Team USA, claiming 14 over nine games. His three goals and three assists also helped them to the world title in 2015, and he is an alternate captain for the coming season.
Declan Farmer, USA
At the 2015 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships A-Pool, Farmer scored the game winning goal against Canada, taking his team to back-to-back Paralympic and World victories. Farmer went on to equal his career best season in 2015-16, with 21 points including 13 goals.
Felix Schrader, Germany
At just 19-years-old Schrader is one of Germany’s most valuable properties. He scored twice at the 2015 World Championships, getting round some of the world’s best players.
Kazuhiro Takahashi, Japan
Takahashi was one of the star players for Japan at the 2015 Worlds A-Pool, but his performance was not enough to keep his team from relegation. The forward has vowed to get them to the PyeongChang 2018 Qualification Tournament and win a medal at home in Tomakomai.
Pavel Kubes, Czech Republic
Kubes will be a key part of his team’s aim to reach the Qualification Tournament for PyeongChang 2018. He has been an integral part of their defence for a decade, competing in two Paralympic Games and four World Championships.
Tomakomai 2016 will feature hosts Japan, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Great Britain.