Ice sledge hockey groups determined for Sochi 201429.10.2013
Find out which four teams will play in Group A and which will play in Group B at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
Ice sledge hockey will be one of five sports featured at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, which take place from 7-16 March.
Group A will feature reigning world champions Canada as the No. 1 seed, along with No. 4 Czech Republic, No. 5 Norway and No. 8 Sweden.
Canada, led by IPC Ones to Watch Greg Westlake and Brad Bowden, will enter the group as the favourites, but a veteran Czech squad captained by Zdenek Safranek and a Norwegian team that have medalled at every Paralympics led by Rolf Pedersen could prove to be tough challengers.
In addition, do not count out Per Kasperi and Niklas Ingvarsson of Sweden – a country that has participated in ice sledge hockey at every Paralympics.
Group B will include defending Paralympic champions USA as the No. 2 seed and host nation Russia as the No. 3 seed, in addition to No. 6 South Korea and No. 7 Italy.
The USA, led by forward Josh Pauls and goaltender Steve Cash, will have a target on their backs, as Dmitry Lisov will hope to put Russia on the podium at their home games. South Korea, led by speedy forward Seung-Hwan Jung, and Italy, led by star striker Florian Planker, will not be easy teams to play in the preliminary round, either.
The top two finishers in each group will move on to the semi-final round with a chance to play for a medal.
The two groups are pending confirmation of all National Paralympic Committee (NPCs) participating.
The complete schedule of games will be revealed closer to Sochi 2014.