Thursday, April 15, 2010

U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team, Steve Cash Win USOC Monthly Awards

Team USA Named USOC Team of the Month;
Cash Named USOC Male Athlete of the Month

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team and its goalie, Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.), have both been honored with United States Olympic Committee awards for the month of March. After capturing the United States' second-ever Paralympic Winter Games gold medal in Vancouver, B.C., Team USA was named the USOC Team of the Month, while Cash was named the USOC Male Athlete of the Month.

"Our gold medal was the result of hard work by each and every one of our players over the last several years," said Ray Maluta, head coach of the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team. "Everyone, including Steve, sacrificed time and personal committments in pursuit of one goal. I know that we're all very proud to have represented our country."

At the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, Team USA posted a perfect 5-0-0-0 record and did not surrender a single goal en route to the gold medal. Cash logged four shutouts during the tournament and stopped all 33 shots he faced in 210 minutes of action. Most notably, he turned aside a second-period penalty shot in Team USA's 2-0 gold medal-clinching victory over Japan on March 20.

The U.S. became the first team in Paralympic Winter Games history to claim its second gold medal in sled hockey, having previously captured the gold medal at the 2002 Paralympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. The win also marked Team USA's fourth straight International Paralympic Committee-sanctioned title.

NOTES: A full recap of the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team's gold-medal performance, including a team roster, photos, features and stats, are available here ... In January, the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team was named the 2009 USOC Paralympic Team of the Year, while Cash was named the 2009 USOC Paralympic SportsMan of the Year ... Paralympic alpine skier Alana Nichols was named the USOC's Female Athlete of the Month for March.

2011 USA Hockey National Disabled Festival
to Take Place April 1-3 in Blaine, Minn.
2010 Festival Included Special Appearances, Record Participation

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The seventh annual USA Hockey National Disabled Festival will take place April 1-3, 2011, in Blaine, Minn., it was announced today. The festival, to be held at the Schwan Super Rink, will encompass all four disciplines of disabled hockey, including deaf/hard of hearing hockey, special hockey, sled hockey and standing/amputee hockey.

This year's event, which took place April 8-11 in Laurel, Md., brought together a total of 50 teams and nearly 800 players from 20 states across the United States. The 2010 festival hosted youth and adult sled tournaments; special hockey games; an exhibition between U.S. and international amputee all-star teams; and U.S. deaf/hard of hearing athletes competing against local able-bodied teams.

The 2010 festival also featured games with sled hockey players from the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program. Organized to operate exclusively for United States Military personnel wounded in defense of their country, the program's mission is to organize and administer an ice hockey program that provides a recreational, therapeutic experience and education to its participants.

Also among this year's highlights were appearances by the Stanley Cup; Duff Goldman, star of the Food Network's "Ace of Cakes," who designed, produced and delivered a custom-made cake; and members of the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team that won the gold medal at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C., last month.

NOTES: Goldman's appearance will be featured on an upcoming episode of "Ace of Cakes." Broadcast details will be announced in the future ... Features, photos and links from the 2010 USA Hockey National Disabled Festival can be found here ... The Potomac Valley Hockey Association, an affiliate of USA Hockey, in conjunction with USA Hockey's Disabled Hockey Section, served as host for the 2010 USA Hockey National Disabled Festival ...The NHL's "Hockey is for Everyone" initiative donated auction items to the festival. More information on "Hockey is for Everyone" can be found here.

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