Wheelchair Sports Federation | Adaptive Sports Organization
Rico Roman: An Officer on the Ice and a Gentleman Print E-mail
Written by Josh Eisenberg   

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea—- As far as USA Sled Hockey’s Rico Roman could remember growing in in Oregon, he wanted to be a soldier,

“I kind of followed in my uncle’s footsteps, by joining the military. Once I got in the military, I wanted to make a career out of it. I was enjoying it.” Says Roman, referring to his service days.

CJ6I3052.jpgRico Roman posing for our camera March 14, 2018 during a press opportunity. PHOTO CREDIT: Michael A. Clubine

However, for this veteran, things took a sharp turn after an encounter with an IED on a tour of Iraq. It exploded, his left leg would need to be amputated. After going through rehab in San Antonio, Texas, Roman, now finds solace in sled hockey. Now the soldier has gone from (U.S. Military) to General of the Ice.

“I did my rehab in ‘07…” said Roman continuing, “I did my rehab with a group called Operation Comfort. They help war wounded veterans in San Antonio. They helped me into their hand cycling program and then they invited me to play Sled Hockey.”

At first, it was not that simple at first to get Rico Roman on the ice,  “I must have said no about 10 times. I finally gave in and I was instantly hooked. You know the camaraderie, the brotherhood. We had an all veteran team in San Antonio and all different branches of military, all on one team and played for that team for almost a year. And my coach at the time Lonnie Hannah, who was a Paralympian, said that I should try out for the 2010 team. I went and tried out… didn’t make it, came back the next year and tried out again and I made it the following year.”

Rico had the honor of lighting the caldron at the 2014 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Though for him, it’s not about the personal achievements. He doesn’t like to be called a hero.

“The hardest thing, is that you have to play and you know, everyone’s got a lot of bumps and bruises, and you have to play through those. Because it’s not just about yourself, it’s about the team.”

2018-03-13-01482.jpg#23 Rico Roman jams a South Korean opponent in their 8-0 win on March 13, 2018. PHOTO CREDIT: Danny Chin

Even with all the sportsmanship and bonds between teammates, playing for his country comes first. Just don’t tell Rico that team USA is the favorite to win the gold medal in PyeongChang, because he won’t accept that.

“I don’t fall into that. We just want to focus on one game at a time, one team at a time and make sure that we are in that gold medal match to compete, and then bring back a gold medal for Team USA.”

Rico is no stranger to receiving gold after he grabbed the top spot with the United States Sled Hockey team in Sochi. Rico is proud of his gold saying,

“My favorite thing to do personally, [the gold medal] taking it and showing it to all the people that I can because I don’t feel like it’s my medal. I feel like it’s America’s medal.”

 
Recap Day 4: Historic Day for USA Paralympic Nordic Skiing Team Print E-mail
Written by Staff   

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea–Team USA Sled Hockey was shutout… in the second period. But they scored six in the first and two in the third to make it 8-0. Declan Farmer recorded his 2nd Hat Trick and had 2 assists. Brody Roybal added two goals along with Joshua Misiewicz, who also had two goals.

Steve “Money” Cash was worth every penny recording just four saves against the South Korean team whose offensive plan was to shut down the U.S. attack by burning time off the clock.

_W1I9973Declan Farmer, who scored a hat trick vs. South Korea  wins a face-off. PHOTO CRDIT: Danny Chin

“They wanted to slow the game down, we kinda expected something like that. They wanted to put the trap on us, but there was some kinda zone trap and we got some pucks thrown at us and it was an endzone type of trap. We got some pucks through and that is what we needed to do,” Said Team USA’s Head Coach Guy Gosselin.

Team USA looks to take down Italy in the semi-finals Thursday, March 15, 2018 at Noon Korean Time.

The Super combined event is a marriage of one Super G run and two Slalom runs combines times. At the end of the Super G it was Team USA’s athletes turn to compete. Even though, the Americans didn’t reach the podium this time, l they produced nine top-10 finishes.

asset_SB5_0231_5260_ioc_2018-03-13_103038.jpgMark Bathum USA races in the Alpine Skiing Visually Impaired Men’s Super Combined at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre. The Paralympic Winter Games, PyeongChang, South Korea, Tuesday 13th March 2018. PHOTO CREDIT: Simon Bruty for OIS/IOC.

Laurie Stephens came in fifth place in the Women’s sitting category and recorded her third-straight top-five finished. In the men’s sitting event Josh Elliott finished in fifth and Andrew Kurka in sixth place.

In the standing divisions, Stephanie Jallen (Harding, PA) was eighth in the women’s and Thomas Walsh was ninth in the men’s going into the final Slalom run. In the Visually Impaired category, it was Henrieta Farkasova who clinched the gold , and the Canadian Mollie Jepsen who took gold in the Standing event. Stephanie Jallen came in 4th position and unfortunately Ally Kunkel did not finish the race. Andrew Kurka missed the podium this time and came in 6th while his countryman Josh Elliott ranked 7th in the men’s sitting category. Overall Team USA put up a good fight but circumstances and conditions just weren’t on their side.

asset_JM1_5978_6038_ioc_2018-03-13_103727.jpgStephanie Jallen USA competes in the Alpine Skiing Standing Women’s Super Combined at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre. The Paralympic Winter Games, PyeongChang, South Korea, Tuesday 13th March 2018. PHOTO CREDIT: Joel Marklund for OIS/IOC.

The U.S. Team had eight athletes entered in the most technical of the Nordic events, the Biathlon, which is a combination of cross country skiing and rifle target shooting. Today’s event was the middle distance Biathlon race, the second of three Biathlons to be held during the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games. Women skied the 10km, a 2km loop five times and shooting pellet rifles at five targets four times. The men raced on a bit longer course 12.5km five times and also shot five targets four time. For each target missed the competitors skied a 120 meter penalty loop.

AU7I6999.jpgSean Halsted competes in the men’s sitting biathlon 12.5-kilometer at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on March 13, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea. PHOTO CREDIT: Ken King

Team USA’s Gold medalist in the short distance discipline of Biathlon: Kendall Gretsch finished 4th overall and her teammate Oksana Master withdrew from the race with an injury. First time Paralympian, Ruslan Reiter finished the 12.5km in 11th out of field of 14. Dan Cnossen and Andy Soule, both sit skiers finished the day on the podium with Silver and Bronze, respectively. Dan shot a clean race, never missing a target, wasn’t the case of Soule who despite missing two shots still took home a medal.

The next Nordic event, a Sprint Classic race, will be held on March 14th, 2018.

 
Team USA Sweeps Sled Hockey Preliminaries, Beating South Korea 8-0 Print E-mail
Written by Josh Eisenberg   

GANGNEUNG, South Korea —- The volume was 106.8 Db. The house shook. This was not a metaphor… the house literally shook. It was standing room only. There were more butts than seats.. “Loud” or “deafening” weren’t the words to use in Gangneung Hockey Centre on Tuesday. Aurally, for ear canals around the rink it was a bloody mess.  Korea brought the weight of nation to face off against the stars and stripes, the Men from the American Sled Hockey Team were not phased by the uproar of the Korean nation in the least.

“The crowd! I mean it was just so loud!” said American Forward Rico Roman, “It was just so loud and the energy was all there..”

2018-03-13-00928.jpgTeam USA Sled Hockey helped make the stadium extra loud during the match with South Korea. PHOTO CREDIT: Danny Chin

As for the game, the U.S. Sled Hockey Team members knew things would be a little different today.

“We knew it would be a harder match” said U.S. Coach Guy Gosselin,”We knew the Koreans would give us all they had.”

Korea took a power play with just over ten minutes left in the first and USA’s Brody Roybal made the Koreans pay big time. His seventh goal of the tournament came off passes from Nikko Landeros and Declan Farmer. The second goal came soon after, at 6:40 from Farmer who picked up right where he left off on Monday vs. the Czechs. Jack Wallace and Ralph DeQuebec picked up the assists and the goal during this Paralympics. It was the 11th point for Framer, so far in 3 games (He has 6 goals and 5 assists).

“You know everyone likes scoring goals and stuff,” quipped Farmer, “It’s all about getting those wins and moving onto the next round, so we’re really looking forward to playing Italy.”

In their first 4 attempts, Team USA went 50% on goals. Jong Kyung Lee picked up a penalty for interference which sent the Americans on the power play once again. And once again the Americans went rabid. A goal for #24 Josh Misiewicz, his first for the PyeongChang Paralympics, fed from  Nikko Landeros and Captain Josh Pauls. The score was 3-0 already with 6 minutes and change left in the first. One minute later it was 4-0. Misiwewicz picked up his second on the day with the help of Kevin Mckee and Brody Roybal. Misiewicz feels like a weight has been lifted off of him after scoring his first two of the season:

 

2018-03-13-01360.jpgJoshua Misiewicz deposits his second goal in the net on Tuesday in the 8-0 win over host country South Korea. PHOTO CREDIT: Danny Chin

“I mean it felt good, because i had a couple chances the two games before and I didn’t capitalize on it, so it finally felt good to bury the puck,” said Misiewicz after the win.

Rico Roman picked up a Teeing Penalty for the United States at 12:13, but even down a man could not stop Declan Farmer and Brody Roybal. Farmer (7,8)  scored shorthanded and connected twice to pick up a hat trick within a minute of each other and Brody Roybal got the assists. That was the end of goalkeeper Man Gyun Yu’s day for Korea. The goalie was replaced by his teammate Jae Woong Lee. At the end of the first, there was only one South Korean shot on goal compared to the U.S. who went 6 of 11. 6-0 USA.

The second period started with an early penalty on Rico Roman for holding. Then, with 7:10 left in the period, a 2:00 minute holding minor on South Korea’s Ju Seung Lee sent the great white sharks of the United States Team into a feeding frenzy. There was blood not just coming from the ears as fans from the sound of the arena, there was blood in the water. Korea’s Jung Kyong Lee, as the power play ended, received a monster hit from Ralph DeQuebec of the United States and DeQuebec was sent to the box for roughing. With 25 seconds left in DeQuebec’s penalty minutes, there was a teeing penalty called on Sueng Hwan Jung. The clubs were at 4-on-4 and it was getting ugly. But even with all the ugliness, the Koreans did it. They stopped the United States from scoring in the second period. There was still one problem: The Koreans didn’t score either and there was still a 6-0 difference in score.  After two full periods the United States had 18 shots on goal and the South Korean sled hockey team just had two..

The U.S. drought wouldn’t last. At 33:36 in the game, Travis Dodson resumed the goal making activities by receiving the puck from Rico Roman and Tyler Carron to make the score 7-0 in favor of the United States. Korea’s Young Sung Lee received a 2 minute roughing penalty and was sent to the box along with Kwan Hyouk Choi also for the same infraction. It was 3 on 5 in favor of the United States. In the end, Brody Roybal added one more for the United States, his second of the game. The Final Score was 8-0.

_W1I0366Team USA Celebrates their 8-0 Win over South Korea on Tuesday. PHOTO CREDIT: Danny Chin

The United States Sled Hockey team plays Italy in the Semi-finals, Thursday, March 15, 2018 at Noon Korean Time.

 
PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympics: Day 3 – In Pictures Print E-mail
Written by Staff   

Emotions ran high as the day three (March 12th) of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games saw six americans winning six medals in the para snowboard cross course. Here are the best highlights of the day.

Danny Chin - Omega Photo StudiosAmy Purdy competes in the women’s SB-LL1 snowboardcross at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on March 12, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea. PHOTO CREDIT: Danny Chin

 

1DX22976.jpgUSA fans cheeing on the Sled hockey Team again Czech Republic at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on March 12, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea. PHOTO CREDIT: Michael A. ClubineCJ6I8823.jpgSteve cash had 13 saves and a shutout for the USA Sled hockey team in their 2nd match against Czech Republic. Team USA wins 10-0. PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Clubine

 

untitled-4194.jpgMia Zutter and Guide Trygstad Saari compete in the Cross Country Women’s 15km Free, Visually Impaired at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on March 12, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea. PHOTO CREDIT: Ken KingDanny Chin - Omega Photo StudiosMike Schultz reacts to winning the Men’s Snowboard Cross SB-LL1, at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on March 12, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea. PHOTO CREDIT: Danny Chin
1DX22879Billy hanning jr fights with a Czech defender for puck in Monday’s 10-0 win. PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Clubine

 

untitled-4137.jpgMia Zutter competes in the Cross Country Cross Country Women’s 15km Free, Visually Impaired at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on March 12, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea. PHOTO CREDIT: Ken King

 

asset_SB5_8557_3667_1_ioc_2018-03-13_014644.jpgMichael Spivey USA competes during the Men’s Snowboard Cross run at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre. The Paralympic Winter Games, PyeongChang, South Korea, Monday 12th March 2018. PHOTO CREDIT: Simon Bruty for OIS/IOC.CP7P4320.jpgBrody Roybal who had a hat trick in Monday’s win against the Czech Republic takes the puck in Monday’s 10-0 win. PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Clubine

 

untitled-4733.jpgGrace Miller competes in the women’s standing cross-country 15-kilometer at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on March 12, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea. PHOTO CREDIT: Ken King

 

untitled-6149Mike Schultz celebrates during the medal ceremony for men’s SB-LL1 snowboardcross at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on March 12, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea. PHOTO CREDIT: Ken King
 
Team USA Sled Hockey Team Calls “CzechMate” on CZE Print E-mail
Written by Josh Eisenberg   

GANGNEUNG, South Korea—- After Team USA used the power of ten goals to defeat Japan in their previous match, game number two of the preliminary round on Monday for the U.S. Sled Hockey Team was par for the course against a Czech Team, who on the day prior lost their second match to host country Korea 3-2 in a crushing overtime defeat.

As for the game itself, it was as Coach Guy Gosselin said, “Hard to take their foot off the pedal.” for the United States.

For instance, “Anything you can do, I can do better…” is a line from Broadway show Annie Get Your Gun, but it perfectly describes the race for points that Declan Farmer and Brody Roybal of USA Sled Hockey are having in Gangneung Hockey Centre.   

Starring the role “The Fastest Gunner in the West” is Assistant Captain Declan Farmer, a current Princeton University scholar,  and he is taking everyone is to school. He has already accumulated 4 Assists, 5 Goals and 9 points in the 2018 Paralympics so far.  

Also starring is “Wild” Brody Roybal. He is just another nightmare for statisticians everywhere. Roybal has now scored 5 goals this competition, and he has one assist and 6 points in just the past two games.

“I’ve known Brody for a long time, and we’re around the same age and the same skill level so we’re always pushing each other to get better.” Farmer expressed of Roybal.

“Me and Declan, we are super competitive, but we’re just out here having fun,” said Roybal.

CJ6I9306Declan Farmer, who had 4 goals in this game tries to shake a Czech defender. PHOTO CREDIT: Michael A. Clubine

It was Steve Cash in net for Team USA and was he ever money in the bank. He stopped 12 shots on goal and the goaltending for the red, white and blue is been pristine. No goals in either game for the goalkeepers so far.

After the match, Team USA Sled Hockey Head Coach Gosselin praised his goaltender saying,

“Steve is one of the best in the world and he showed up and he is focused and is in good shape and he was ready to go,” he added, “We all play this game to win and he comes to compete at a high level.”

There were no unexpected adjustments on Team USA’s first line with Roybal, Carron, Landeros, MIsiewicz, and McKee. Team USA won the opening faceoff, and in just over one minute into the match that Nikko Landeros passed to Brody Roybal who stuck it in the net behind Czech goalie Martian Kudela for the first score of the match. After two of the goals from Declan Farmer, the score after one period was 3-0 in favor of the stars and stripes.

1DX22864Nikko Landeros, who scored a goal in the first period, slams head first into the wall. PHOTO CREDIT: Michael A. Clubine

In the second period, it started fast and ferocious with both teams ready to pounce. But it was #75 Jiri Raul of the Czech Republic who picked up the penalty for interference and Team USA swarmed like a pack of wild dogs and took advantage with Farmer getting his hat trick with assists from Page and Wallace.  With 8:15 left in the second it was Jack Wallace getting his first of the game going top shelf on the goaltender. Farmer and Page brought the help.

Travis Dodson joined the scoring party increasing the score to 7- 0. Billy Hanning Jr. got his first assist on the goal.

Czech Head Coach Jiri Briza after match about the third period, “I’m just glad they called off the dogs and stopped scoring.”

With the win, Team USA earned 3 more points sending them automatically to the next round.

Team USA returns to the rink Tuesday to take on host nation South Korea at Noon Korean Time.

 
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