Capturing a second consecutive gold medal, the U.S. Women’s National Sled Hockey Team remain the world’s finest. Serving as host country for the 2023 Women’s World Challenge, sponsored by Citi, it was only fitting that the event was held for the second straight year in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Known in sporting vernacular as “Titletown, USA”, the brilliance of the American squad added to the city’s triumphant legacy.
For Monica Quimby, a co-captain for the US, and one of the sport’s luminaries, having played in both events, provides a combination of history and prestige. Worth noting, the 2022 edition marked their first triumph at a World Para Ice Hockey sanctioned event. Additionally, the event also marked the first ever all-female officiating crew.
With nearly a decade of experience, Quimby is revered as an ambassador for the growing sport. Shortly after the jubilation of a gold medal game, Quimby was off to Denver, Colorado for a keynote speech, testament to such standing. Bringing an unbridled enthusiasm and uplifting smile, she sets a positive example which translates into strong leadership.
“As a veteran on the team, I do feel I am a leader and I enjoy using humour to bring us together. We all have skills that when we need to step up and lead, we do. We are a very supportive group, cheer each other on and never give up.”
Emerging with an undefeated mark, Green Bay’s Cornerstone Community Center saw the US finish atop the podium. Defeating Canada by a 2-0 mark in the gold medal final on August 3, as Kelsey DiClaudio and Lera Doederlein placed their names on the scoresheet. Other participants at the event included Great Britain and Team World, featuring athletes from 11 countries. Adding a major league feeling to the event, all games from the event streamed live on the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) YouTube page.
Contributing a goal in a 7-0 win versus Great Britain on September 1, Monica Quimby also earned a pair of assists. The following day, another 7-0 outcome, emerging triumphant versus Team World saw Quimby assist on Madeline Gallagher’s first period goal. The majesty of back to back titles, as the US never allowed a goal in Green Bay, marks a dominant performance.
Observing the bigger picture, one filled with national pride, Quimby looks beyond the numbers. Reflecting on the path the team has taken towards Green Bay, the camaraderie and trust that has developed formed the foundation for such an exceptional group.
“Earning gold back to back in our home country feels amazing. Our team is so close and everyone has grown so much as hockey players. Between speed and ability, we are unstoppable!”
Having relocated from her home state of Maine in order to pursue kayaking, capturing a silver medal at a 2014 international event, Quimby became a multi-sport sensation with sled hockey. Having met Florida native Declan Farmer, a member of the US National Team who calls the the Tampa Bay Lightning’s sled program his club team, Quimby found inspiration to participate. Becoming teammates on the Lightning, the fact that she has also worn the USA Hockey jersey marks a strong point of pride for the admirable program.
Worth noting, November 16-19, 2023 will mark another proud milestone for Quimby. Recently winning the 2023 Southeast Sled Hockey League Championship with the Lightning in March, the organization will build on the momentum as the AdventHealth Center Ice in Wesley Chapel, Florida serving as host venue for the 13th Annual USA Hockey Sled Classic. With the Lightning serving as host team, over a dozen teams from the US and Canada shall mount their sleds. Worth noting, one of the most exciting facets is that each sled hockey team is associated with an NHL club. Gaining the opportunity to wear officially licensed NHL jerseys adds a tremendous Major League feeling to the proceedings, one defined by belonging and sportsmanship.
Originally staged in 2010, the round-robin format tournament has grown tremendously. From an event that began with less than 75 participants, the 2022 edition, hosted in Irvine, California with the Anaheim Ducks as host team featured a fascinating 279 participants with 23 total teams. With great anticipation, Quimby approaches this year’s event as an opportunity to help raise awareness of the game in the Sunshine State. Helping to organize the event, ready to welcome the finest players from throughout North America, Quimby enjoys the opportunity to add to the city’s proud hockey footprint.
“I am looking forward to the NHL Sled Classic to continue to grow the game that I love and having the support of NHL teams to have this annual tournament is so important.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated“
To learn more about the Tampa Bay Lightning ice sled hockey program, please visit: lightninghockeydevelopment.com/sledhockey