While the 18th edition of Winter Deaflympics officially opened today in Khanty-Mansiysk, Magnitogorsk, Russia, the United States men’s national deaf ice hockey team have been in Russia for several days now ahead of trying to defend their Winter Deaflympics title.
Competition for Team USA officially kicks off tomorrow when they open against Canada at 7:00 PM local time. They are back in action on Monday when they play Finland at 3:00 PM local time. Tuesday is a scheduled training day, and the United States is back on the ice Wednesday when they are scheduled to play hosts Russia. On Thursday, they are scheduled to play Kazakhstan. Friday is another scheduled training day. Next Saturday, Russia, Canada and Finland are all in action but the USA is not. Next Sunday, if the United States does well they could play in the gold medal game scheduled for 7:00 PM local time, or the bronze medal game scheduled for 3:00 PM local time.
On Wednesday evening, the team was at training. They were back on the ice for another training session Thursday morning. With a short roster of only 14 skaters and two goaltenders, national team coach Jeff Sauer has indicated he plans to get all his players on the ice regularly.
The team includes goalkeeper Joe Lingle from Yardley, Pennsylvania. Lingle is making his Deaflympic début at these Games. The team also includes Jeffrey Mansfield.