Five ACHA players to represent Team USA at World Deaf Ice Hockey Championships
The team photo from the 2011 team with the five ACHA participants.
Five current and former ACHA players will be representing Team USA at the 2013 World Deaf Ice Hockey Championship in Vantaa, Finland. Joe Lingle, Miles Gates, Brandon Neville, Bo Ruef and Mike Wonoski will be taking the ice for the US.
The American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association (AHIHA) has released the 23-man roster (see attached) that will compete in the 2013 World Deaf Ice Hockey Championships in Vantaa, Finland.
The 2013 U.S. National Deaf Ice Hockey team was chosen from players who attended the AHIHA tryout and summer camp. The team has a geographically diverse roster with players from thirteen states.
“Our team is a combination of experienced international players and a group of young, very talented players that should develop can contribute quickly,” Jeff Sauer, head coach of the team said. “After the disappointing cancellation of the 2011 Deaflympics for a number of our players, we now have a chance to get back to defending our Gold Medal success from Salt Lake City. Our entire program is looking forward to the 2013 World Deaf Ice Hockey Championships”
The 2013 World Deaf Hockey Championships will take place in Vantaa, Finland in April 2013, where Team USA will look to improve on its bronze medal in Winnipeg at the 2009 World Deaf Ice Hockey Championships. Team USA won the Gold medal at the 2007 Deaflympics held in Salt Lake City, but was denied a chance to defend the gold when the 2011 Deaflympics were cancelled. The competition will include teams from Canada, Finland, Russia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and USA.
The team operates under the guidelines of the USA Deaf Sports Federation. To qualify for the games, athletes must have a hearing loss of at least 55 dB in their "better ear". Hearing aids, cochlear implants and the like are not allowed to be used in competition, to place all athletes on the same level.
Funding for athletes is provided by the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association through private donations and support from the USA Hockey Foundation. Players are also asked to fundraise a portion of their expenses. Donations to help cover player expenses can be sent to:
The American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association
4214 W. 77th Place
Chicago, IL 60652
About the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association (AHIHA)
AHIHA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, is one of the leading sports organizations in the US serving deaf and hard of hearing athletes. The organization was founded in 1973 by National Hockey League Hall of Fame member Stan Mikita and Chicago businessman Irv Tiahnybik. Today, Tony Granato, former NHL player and now the assistant coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins continues the leadership role started by Mikita and Tiahnybik.