CALGARY, AB – Canada’s National Sledge Team arrived in Marlborough, Massachussetts on Thursday, set to represent Canada at the 2008 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship, which runs from March 29th to April 5th at the New England Sports Center.
The roster includes 14 players who were members of Canada’s National Sledge Team at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy, winning Canada’s first gold medal in sledge hockey, and 13 members of the National Sledge Team from the 2004 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship.
“This is what our players have prepared for all season, the opportunity to represent Canada at the world championship,” said head coach Jeff Snyder. “We are all ready for the challenge at hand, and look forward to making Canada proud.”
Canada last won a gold medal at the IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2000, before finishing fourth in 2004 in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden.
Canada’s National Sledge Team, which maintained an 11-2 record during the 2007-08 season, including a gold medal at the Japan Paralympic 2008 Ice Sledge Hockey International Match in January, opens the 2008 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship on Saturday, March 29th, when it faces Italy. It will also face Germany, Norway, the United States and Japan during round-robin play.
Sledge hockey is the Paralympic version of ice hockey. It made its debut at the 1994 Paralympic Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway. The fast-paced sport has grown in popularity since then, and was very popular with fans in Torino in 2006, as Canada captured a gold medal in sledge hockey for the first time at the Paralympics.