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USA opens Sledge Hockey Championships against Russia

Team USA, the pre-tournament favorite, gets right down to business Sunday night in the preliminary round of the IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships at HarborCenter.

The Americans will face Russia at 8 p.m. in a rematch of the gold medal in the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi. Italy will face Germany at 4:30 p.m. in the other Group B game.

Canada, which won the last Sledge Hockey World Championship in 2013, will face Japan at 1 p.m. in Group A after the Czech Republic and Norway get things started at 9:30 a.m.

Team USA will be seeking its third gold medal in the World Championships, having won in 2009 and 2012.

Play in the preliminary rounds will continue on Monday and Wednesday. The U.S. will face Germany at 8 p.m. Monday and Italy at 2 p.m. Wednesday. Semifinals will be Friday and the bronze- (11 a.m.) and gold-medal (2:30 p.m.)games next Sunday.

Adam Page of Lancaster and Paul Schaus of Buffalo are forwards on an experienced American team, which also has some standout young forwards in Brody Roybal, 16, and Declan Farmer, 17.

Activity got under way Saturday with the first-ever Skills Challenge. Page captained the winning team and Chris Douglas of the U.S. captained the other. Team Page won the skater’s obstacle course with Canada’s Ben Delaney the fastest. Canada’s goaltender, Corbin Watson, led Team Page in the shootout.