By David Gold

Nikko Landeros_23-03-12March 23 - The United States will defend its world title at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships in Hamar, Norway, this week, with their coach Jeff Sauer relishing the challenge ahead.

The US will compete with Estonia, Czech Republic and Japan in Group A of the tournament, while a tough looking Group B consists of Canada, Italy, South Korea and Norway.

Canada will be a particularly challenging opponent for the US, having already beaten them twice this season.

They will look to Nikko Landeros (pictured far right) to continue his impressive form, having registered eight points in eight games this season, and the US will be captained by Taylor Chace.

"We are very excited to travel to Hamar to defend our title," Sauer said.

"The competition will be tough and we're looking forward to the challenge of playing teams we've never seen before."

The US defeated Norway for the gold medal at the 2009 tournament in the Czech Republic, and they will face Estonia on Sunday in the opening game of their title defence.

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