Rosters confirmed for Ostersund 201503.03.2015
Players for Poland, South Korea, Great Britain, Slovakia, Austria and hosts Sweden have been announced.
The team rosters for the six countries who will compete at the 2015 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey B-Pool World Championships in Ostersund, Sweden, from 15-21 March have been confirmed.
Adding to 15 athletes announced by host nation Sweden in early February, a further 60 players from Great Britain, South Korea, Poland, Slovakia and newly qualified Austria have been confirmed.
Defenceman Min-Su Han elevated himself to hero status in the group stages at Sochi, scoring the winning goal in a shoot-out against eventual silver medallists Russia. The formidable Seung-Hwan Jung, intimidating by his sheer speed, is also expected.
The Austrian team, who beat Finland in the play-offs to take the last available slot in Ostersund, is headlined by star forwards Kai Habeler and Martin Pachoinig. Habeler drew his team level against Finland in the deciding play-off match, followed by Pachoinig who scored the winning goal.
Slovakia will be looking to improve on their 2013 Worlds performance with the help of returning goalie Miroslav Pastucha. The Slovakians did not progress past the group stages two years ago following defeats by Germany and Estonia, but finished fifth overall after their sole tournament win over Poland.
Great Britain will field Tyler Christopher, who scored the opening goal in their 3-2 bronze medal match against Estonia in 2013.
Goalie Rob Gaze, who stopped 17 pucks in the same game, will also return.
Poland have announced 10 players who they hope can improve on their last-place finish from 2013, with the help of two new players – Sebastian Kartosz and Krzystof Sekulski.
All teams will be aware that a top two finish is crucial to their hopes of qualifying for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, as the gold and silver medallists will be automatically promoted to the A-Pool for 2017.
The last-place team will be relegated to a new C-Pool tournament, which will be created and run in the second and fourth years of each quadrennial, in 2016 and 2018.
In 2017, 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 compete at the Qualification Tournament for PyeongChang 2018 that same year.
Ostersund 2015 takes place just before the 2015 IPC Ice Sledge World Championships A-Pool in Buffalo, New York, USA, from 26 April – 3 May.
The detailed team rosters can be found on the event website.