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Avalanche sled hockey star Roman announces retirement from U.S. national team


After a decorated 11-year career with the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team that was highlighted by six gold medals, including three in the Paralympic Winter Games, Rico Roman announced his retirement this week.

“It has been nothing but fun all these years with the boys,” said Roman. “I wouldn’t be here without my teammates. I’ve learned so much from them and they taught me everything I know. I’m just so thankful to be part of this team.”

“Rico is an incredibly high-character player,” added Dan Brennan, director of sled national teams for USA Hockey. “He is a natural leader and he’s been a great leader on this team for many years. We want to congratulate him on a truly wonderful career, and he will be greatly missed both on and off the ice.”

At the club level, Roman has competed with both the San Antonio Rampage and Colorado Avalanche sled hockey programs.

Roman began his journey with the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team in 2010-11. Among the many highlights of his career was helping the U.S. to an unprecedented three straight gold medals in the Paralympic Winter Games (2022, 2018, 2014). He played in 13 career Paralympic games and in the 2018 Games recorded a goal and an assist for Team USA in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Roman also competed in five IPC world championships, helping the United States capture three gold medals (2021, 2019, 2012) and a pair of silver medals (2017, 2013). In his last three world championship appearances (2021, 2019, 2017), he contributed four points at each tournament.

The Portland, Ore., native also played for Team USA in nine Para Hockey Cup tournaments (previously referred to as the World Sled Hockey Challenge), helping the U.S. capture six titles (2012, 2016 (Jan.), 2016 (Dec.), 2017, 2018, 2019).

All total, Roman played in 123 career games with Team USA with 45 career points, including 18 goals and 27 assists.

A former staff sergeant in the United States Army and Purple Heart recipient, Roman learned about sled hockey through Operation Comfort, a program where wounded, ill and injured service members and their families can recover and get involved in the community.

Photo/USA Hockey

(July 13, 2022)

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