Ostrava 2019: Get to know Norway

Countdown to Worlds begins with a closer look at each team

Norwegian Para ice hockey players huddle on an ice rink Norway finished five at last year's Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang © • Bob Martin for OIS/IOC

The World Para Ice Hockey Championships take place from 27 April - 4 May, featuring the top eight teams from around the world in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Follow along as we break down what you need to know about each team.

Norway, historically one of the most decorated nations in Para ice hockey, have not medalled in the sport at a World Championships in a decade. The Norwegians made the podium in the first five consecutive World Championships, beginning in 1996, but have missed out on a medal at the last four editions of the event. They finished fourth at the last two World Championships.

But the fifth-place finishers at last year’s Winter Paralympics will enter Ostrava 2019 on a wave of momentum after winning the three-team NIHF Invitational Tournament last month, beating Italy and Japan for the title.

Fast facts

World Ranking: 4th

World Championships History:

2017: 4th place

2015: 4th place

2013: 5th place

2012: 6th place

2009: Silver

2008: Silver

2004: Gold

2000: Silver

1996: Silver

One to Watch: Audun Bakke had a breakout tournament at the 2017 World Championships, providing a new source of energy on the offensive end, and then helped Norway seal fifth place at last year’s Paralympics with a hat trick in its final game. Having started the sport at age 15, the 30-year-old from Oslo is entering his 13th year with the national team.

Don’t Count Out: Nine-time Paralympian Rolf Einar Pedersen may be 49 years old with two growing children, but his experience and veteran presence on the ice is unmatchable. He has four World Championship and three Paralympic medals to his name in Para ice hockey and has been at the top of his game longer than many of his opponents have been alive.

Matchup to Watch: Norway vs. South Korea on Saturday, 27 April will be a rematch of the 2017 World Championships bronze-medal game, which South Korea won 3-2.

Worth Mentioning: In their last major international appearance, Norway defeated their final three opponents at the Paralympics by a combined score of 14-4.