OBSERVER’s own Storms represents U.S. on ice

Submitted Photo Christian Storms, pictured above, competes in a Team USA sled hockey game. Storms, an OBSERVER Sports Reporter, has been a member of the Team USA sled hockey development team since 2016.

For the fourth time in as many years, the United States Men’s Development Sled Hockey Team faced off in a best-of-three series against Team Canada earlier this month.

Traveling to Arena Howie-Morenz in Montreal, the United States was able to come from back from a two-goal deficit in the opening game on their way to a three-game sweep of Canada.

Joining teammates who hail from across the country was Jamestown native and OBSERVER Sports Reporter Christian Storms.

Storms, who picked up sled hockey at the age of 8 in Jamestown, has been a member of the Men’s Development team since 2016.

“It’s been really cool,” Storms said. “I’ve gotten a lot of opportunities to meet different people and continue to be a high-level athlete and travel all over the place. It’s always pretty cool to represent your country, and every time you have your name on the back of a U.S. sweater it’s just surreal.”

Submitted Photo

Storms made key contributions for the United States throughout the weekend. In the second game of the series, a 5-2 win for the Americans, Storms picked up an assist on Dan Malloy’s game-tying goal in the opening period.

In the third game of the weekend, Storms notched the opening goal for team USA, finishing off a pass from Ben Maenza of Brentwood, Tennessee with 1:32 to play in the first period.

The U.S. would go on to win that final contest, 4-1.

The weekend in Montreal also included a win for the U.S. Men’s National Sled Team over Canada, a squad that Storms is hoping to earn a spot on in the seasons to come.

“Canada always puts up a really good fight,” Storms said. “Lately we have just kind of been edging them out. Our talent just comes out.”

While the American roster includes players that hail from all over, especially hockey-rich areas like Colorado and Western New York, Storms also has the benefit of playing with players across a wide age range.

“We have high school kids who may have spina bifida or an amputation, and then we have older players, including veterans who may have similar disabilities,” Storms said.

With the winter season now at a close, Storms will continue to take to the ice as much as possible as he eyes a spot on the U.S. National team in the future.

“I go wherever I can see ice, sometimes I’ll go to the skates in Jamestown,” he said. “I like to skate with teammates at the Northtown Center in Buffalo.”