International Deaf Hockey Returns to Buffalo

January 28, 2024

Buffalo, NY- Northtown Center at Amherst will serve as the site for the inaugural Jeff Sauer International Deaf Hockey Series to be held April 11th-14th. The four-day event named after Jeff Sauer, former head coach of the USA men’s deaf team, will showcase men’s teams from the USA, Canada, Czech Republic, and Finland and women’s teams from the USA and Canada. The series is hosted by the American Hearing-Impaired Hockey Association (AHIHA) and the Stan Mikita Hockey School for Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Jeff Sauer, a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, spent more than 40 years coaching hockey, and had nothing but success in his varied endeavors. Sauer gained prominence as a college coach, but he is also remembered for his work coaching hockey players with disabilities. “He gave endless, endless, endless — you don’t know how much time he gave — energy and love to those kids,” said U.S. Olympic team coach Tony Granato who played for Sauer.

Sauer was president of the American Hearing-Impaired Hockey Association. He helped select the last five U.S. Deaflympic Ice Hockey Teams and led the team as head coach at three Winter Deaflympics, including a gold medal at the 2007 Deaflympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.

He spent seven years as head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. He led the U.S. to the gold medal at the 2012 International Paralympic Committee Ice Sledge Hockey World Championship. Two years later, he was at the helm of the gold-medal winning 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team in Sochi, Russia.

The event will be held April 11th– April 14th at the Northtown Center at Amherst. Northtown Center was the host of the 2017 Deaf Ice Hockey World Championships. The best deaf and hard of hearing hockey players from around the world will compete in a round robin format.

For additional information please contact tournament director Steve Smart at steve.smart@ahiha.org.