ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – USA Hockey released its final rosters for the Men’s, Women’s and Paralympic Sled teams that will play at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics in South Korea, next month. There are three local connections on both the Women’s and Paralympic Sled rosters to keep an eye on:
Nicole Hensley, USA Women’s Hockey goalie: Hensley played her collegiate hockey at Lindenwood University in St. Charles from 2012-2016. A native of Lakewood, Colo., Hensley was a three-time Academic All-American at Lindenwood, and received the prestigious NCAA Top 10 Award in the Winter of 2016.
Hensley was Team USA’s primary goalie at the 2017 World Championships. She allowed just two goals in three games, which included two victories over the team’s main rival, Canada. In the gold-medal match, she made 28 saves in Team USA’s 3-2 overtime victory. Hensley was named one of the Top Three U.S. Players of the Tournament.
Hensley also won a gold medal at the 2016 World Championships, and has appeared in numerous other events for Team USA in recent years.
Information courtesy of Lindenwood Athetics
Steve Cash, USA Paralympic Sled Hockey goalie: This will be Cash’s fourth Paralympic games, after winning a gold medal with USA in Sochi 2014, Vancouver 2010 and a bronze medal in Torino 2006. The 28-year-old a graduate of Ritenour High School and University of Missouri St. Louis and Overland, Mo., native.
He started his sled hockey career with the Disabled Athlete Sports Association (DASA) St. Louis Blues in 2004 and made his first U.S. Sled Hockey National Team in 2005.
At the 2010 Paralympic Games he stopped all 33 shots he faced in USA’s five games, was awarded an ESPY for Best Male Athlete with a Disability. His right leg was amputated due to osteosarcoma (bone cancer) at age three.
Josh Pauls, USA Paralympic Sled Hockey defenseman: Pauls is listed as the captain for the USA team, playing in his third Paralympics (Sochi 2014, Vancouver 2010). The 25-year-old was born in Green Brook, New Jersey and graduate of Lindenwood University.
He is also a member of the DASA St. Louis Blues and was named the Best Defenseman at the 2015 World Championships and 2016 Pan Pacific Championships. In 2010, at age 17, he was the youngest member of the gold medal-winning squad at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
Growing up in New Jersey, he had hopes of becoming the first NHL goalie with no legs. He was born without tibia bones and had both legs amputated at 10-months-old. He started playing Sled Hockey in 2002 with the New York Rangers Junior Sled Hockey club team.
Billy Hanning, USA Paralympic Sled Hockey defenseman: The Festus, Mo. native is also a member of the DASA St. Louis Blues, but this will be his first Paralympic games. He has twice competed for Team USA in the World Championship, winning gold in 2015 and silver in 2017.
At the age of 18, Hanning lost his right leg to cancer, but was energized to try sled hockey after seeing a video feature on his now Paralympic teammate, Steve Cash. He joined the DASA St. Louis Blues in 2008 and assisted the team in winning the 2013 USA Hockey Adult Sled National Championship.
Information courtesy of TEAMUSA.org