Josh Pauls photo

Team USA defenseman Josh Pauls won Paralympic sled hockey gold medals in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

The U.S. sled hockey team is returning to Madison for a training camp at Madison Ice Arena and the second annual banquet and silent auction to benefit the Coach Sauer Foundation.

The sled team, which was coached by former University of Wisconsin men's hockey coach Jeff Sauer until his passing in 2017, will be training alongside members of Norway's sled team starting on Monday.

Exhibition games are scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2 and 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 at Madison Ice Arena, 725 Forward Drive, to conclude the training camp. Admission is free.

With thoughts of Sauer prominent, the U.S. sled hockey team won a third straight Paralympic gold medal on March 18 by defeating Canada 2-1 in overtime.

Members of the team will speak at the Coach Sauer Foundation fundraiser on Thursday, Nov. 1 at Blackhawk Country Club, 3606 Blackhawk Drive. A cocktail hour begins at 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 6:30.

Retiring UW band director Michael Leckrone is the featured speaker for the event. Tickets are $100 per person and are available through 2018dinner.givesmart.com. An auction website is also available.

The Coach Sauer Foundation was founded to provide more opportunities to play hockey and to support programs that emphasize the development of youth hockey players, coaches and officials in both able-bodied and disabled areas of the game.

In its first year, the foundation funded scholarships for Madison youth players, sponsored the Midwest Disabled Hockey Festival and established the Jeff Sauer Award for humanitarian activities by a high school player.

Sauer coached the Badgers to two NCAA championships in a 20-year tenure that ended in 2002. He also was a central figure in deaf hockey and with the U.S. sled program.

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Todd D. Milewski covers Wisconsin Badgers men's hockey and the UW Athletic Department for the Wisconsin State Journal.