Russia remain understated ahead of Buffalo 2015

Despite being in with a real chance of challenging for the gold medal at the 2015 sledge hockey Worlds, the Russian team are not giving anything away. 25 Apr 2015
Ice sledge hockey players and coaches have a team photo

Russia have always been modest about their incredible rise to the top of ice sledge hockey and are in Buffalo aiming for gold.

ⒸBill Wippert
By Kim McGreal | For the IPC

“We are hoping to exceed our previous achievement”

The Russians are one of the most talked about teams on the worldwide sledge hockey stage, but in the last few hours before the 2015 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships A-Pool begin in Buffalo, New York, USA, they are playing their cards close to their chest.

After winning a bronze medal at the 2013 World Championships in Goyang, South Korea, and a silver medal at home at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, you might think that the Russian team would be keen to boast about their achievements, but that is not the case.

Their recently released lineup shows a number of new players, including two new netminders, Evgeny Plotnitkov and Andrei Kasatkin. While Plotnikov performed well at the World Sledge Hockey Challenge earlier this year in Canada, Kasatkin has not yet made an international appearance at any major sledge hockey competition.

Despite their relative inexperience in goal, there is no doubt that the team will remain a contender for the gold medal, with experienced player Dmitrii Lisov captaining the team. But head coach Sergey Samoylov will not give away any clues about who to watch out for on the ice. “You can watch for every player in our team, they deserve it.”

One player who might be worth keeping an eye on is Ilya Volkov who was a member of the team in both Goyang and Sochi. The forward, who has been playing sledge hockey since 2010, believes that this year will be a good one for the team. When asked who he has looking forward to playing against most in Buffalo, his answer is simple: “Team USA, I like strong competitors.”

Historically, the Russian team has struggled against the USA, but they hope that this year they might be able to defeat the powerhouse on their own home soil. For a team with both silver and bronze medals from the last two years, there can be only one colour that they are looking towards at Buffalo 2015.

“We are hoping to exceed our previous achievement,” Samoylov said.

Russia play the USA in their opening game of Buffalo 2015 on Sunday (26 April), in a replay of the Sochi 2014 final.

Live coverage, live results and a full competition schedule are available at