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US Men's National Deaf Ice Hockey Team wins gold at 2019 Deaflympics

EVANSTON, Ill., Dec. 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The US Men's National Deaf Ice Hockey Team defeated Canada to win gold at the 19th Winter Deaflympics on December 21, 2019. The 19th Winter Deaflympics were held December 12–21, 2019, in Valtellina Valchiavenna, Italy. The competition was organized by the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf and sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee, IOC.

Hockey teams from Canada, Finland, Kazakhstan, Russia and the United States competed at the 2019 games. The US team beat Finland (6-2), Kazakhstan (14-0) and Russia (7-3) in round robin play.  They suffered their only round robin loss to Canada (1-4) the day preceding the championship game. In the gold medal game, the US team took a decisive lead in the second period going up 4-1. The game ended with a final score of USA 7 - Canada 3.

The US team included 16 players who previously competed internationally as a member of U.S. teams that won a bronze medal at the 2015 Deaflympics held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, and/or the gold medal at the 2017 World Deaf Ice Hockey Championships. This year's team members ranged in age from 16 to 34 and hailed from 14 states.

19th Winter Deaflympics - USA Ice Hockey Team

Name                    

Height     

Weight  

Age   

Position    

Hometown

Curran Allison*       

6 – 1         

160

22

Goalie      

Laguna Niguel, CA

Tyler Balcerak        

5 – 10     

200

18

Defense    

Barrington, IL

Troy Benson*          

6 – 3      

196

29

Forward    

Henderson, NC

Christian Buczek*    

5 – 10   

170

22

Defense  

Hamburg, NY

Max Finley*               

6 – 1      

180

25

Forward     

Peoria, IL

Henry Fusco*             

5 – 9     

140

18

Forward   

White Bear Lake, MN

Miles Gates*            

6 – 2    

218

30

Defense   

Erie, PA

Garrett Gintoli*         

6 – 2      

170

23

Forward     

Shelton, CT

Peter Gintoli*            

5 – 8     

175

27

Forward  

Shelton, CT

William "Bill" Holtzer  

5 – 10     

160

16

Forward     

Akron, OH

Sam Holzrichter*       

5 – 10     

150

22

Forward    

Sioux City, IA

Scott Humes*           

6 – 3         

215

23

Forward     

Columbus, OH

Grant Isenbarger*      

6 – 2         

180

25

Forward   

Ft. Wayne, IN

Ryne Krueger*            

6 – 2         

165

21

Defense   

Barrington, IL

Danny Kurchena*      

6 – 2        

195

22

Forward     

Rutland, VT

Anders Lindgren       

5 – 11    

170

20

Forward      

Saint Anne, IL

Jeff Mansfield*      

6 – 1       

190

34

Goalie      

Arlington, MA

Trevor McHugh      

6 – 2     

150

18

Goalie      

Montclair, VA

T.J. Oricchio*          

5 – 11       

160

22

Defense    

Plattsburgh, NY

Luke Peinado           

5 – 9       

155

16

Defense  

Winnetka, IL

Jake Schlereth        

5 - 9      

175

18

Forward   

Fenton, MO

Max Stephens         

5 – 10   

155

17

Defense   

Medford, MA

Derek Struwing*       

5 – 9     

165

21

Forward     

Bartlett, IL

*Previous international team experience

"We had one goal for the Deaflympics, to win gold," said General Manager Richard Dumas. "I can't say enough about our players and how quickly they came together as a team. From the first game on, they played at a high level and demonstrated their will to do what it took to win. It was a tremendous honor to represent the United States and to return home with a gold medal."

The team operates under the guidelines of USA Hockey and the USA Deaf Sports Federation with primary responsibility to organize the team resting with AHIHA – Stan Mikita Hockey School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. To qualify, 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 during competition to ensure that all athletes play on the same level.

For information, photos and game summaries check out:  http://www.2019deaflympics.com/

Information about AHIHA can be found at:  http://www.ahiha.org

Cision

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SOURCE AHIHA