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US Men’s National Deaf Ice Hockey Team Wins Gold; 2 NYS-Born Players On Team

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

EVANSTON, Ill.– 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         16022Goalie      Laguna Niguel, CA
Tyler Balcerak        5 – 10     20018Defense    Barrington, IL
Troy Benson*          6 – 3      19629Forward    Henderson, NC
Christian Buczek*    5 – 10   17022Defense  Hamburg, NY
Max Finley*               6 – 1      18025Forward     Peoria, IL
Henry Fusco*             5 – 9     14018Forward   White Bear Lake, MN
Miles Gates*            6 – 2    21830Defense   Erie, PA
Garrett Gintoli*         6 – 2      17023Forward     Shelton, CT
Peter Gintoli*            5 – 8     17527Forward  Shelton, CT
William “Bill” Holtzer  5 – 10     16016Forward     Akron, OH
Sam Holzrichter*       5 – 10     15022Forward    Sioux City, IA
Scott Humes*           6 – 3         21523Forward     Columbus, OH
Grant Isenbarger*      6 – 2         18025Forward   Ft. Wayne, IN
Ryne Krueger*            6 – 2         16521Defense   Barrington, IL
Danny Kurchena*      6 – 2        19522Forward     Rutland, VT
Anders Lindgren       5 – 11    17020Forward      Saint Anne, IL
Jeff Mansfield*      6 – 1       19034Goalie      Arlington, MA
Trevor McHugh      6 – 2     15018Goalie      Montclair, VA
T.J. Oricchio*          5 – 11       16022Defense    Plattsburgh, NY
Luke Peinado           5 – 9       15516Defense  Winnetka, IL
Jake Schlereth        5 – 9      17518Forward   Fenton, MO
Max Stephens         5 – 10   15517Defense   Medford, MA
Derek Struwing*       5 – 9     16521Forward     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.

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