Moose Jaw 2023: Get to Know Italy

The host of the next Winter Paralympics has never finished higher than fifth or lower than seventh at the World Championships 15 May 2023
Two male Para ice hockey players competing on ice
Christoph Depaoli's Italy (right) will face Norway on 31 May at the Moose Jaw Worlds
ⒸBuda Mendes/Getty Images
By Stuart Lieberman | For World Para Ice Hockey

The 2023 World Para Ice Hockey Championships A-Pool will take place from 28 May - June 4 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in Canada. The top eight teams from around the world will compete for the world title, with the top six finishers staying in the A-Pool for the next season. Follow along as we break down what you need to know about each team.


The host of the next Paralympic Winter Games in 2026 has never finished higher than fifth or lower than seventh at the World Championships. The team was fifth at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games. The Italian squad is now being coached by Mirko Bianchi who took over the reigns last autumn when Massimo Da Rin stepped down after 17 years a the helm. Da Rin had coached Italy since the inception of the programme prior to the Torino 2006 Paralympics, leading the team to five Paralympic appearances, two top-five finishes at the World Championships, and a European title in 2011.

World Ranking: 8th 

World Championships History
2021: 7th place 
2019: 6th place 
2017: 5th place 
2015: 5th place
2013: 5th place
2012: 6th place
2009: 6th place
2008: 6th place

Athletes to Watch
Two players are left from the team that made its Paralympic debut at the Torino 2006 Games - Gianluca Cavaliere and Bruno Balossetti - and four-time Paralympian Andrea Macri is certainly a veteran in the sport. The defenseman brings infectious energy to an already energetic squad. Macri and forward Alessandro Andreoni are also working for the Milano-Cortina 2026 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.  

Matchup to Watch: Italy vs. Norway on 31 May
The last two times these two faced each other on the World Championship stage, the game went to overtime. At the 2021 edition of the event, Norway defeated Italy, 4-3, in a shootout to highlight the first day of preliminary play. In 2019, Norway also had the upper hand, taking a 1-0 victory over Italy in overtime in the fifth-place game.