CALGARY, AB – Fifteen members of Canada’s gold medal-winning team from the 2008 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship highlight the National Sledge Team roster of 18 players for 2008-09, announced Friday by Hockey Canada.
The players were chosen by head coach Jeff Snyder and assistant coaches Shawn Frydberg and Mike Mondin, working with Adam Crockatt, Hockey Canada’s manager of men’s national teams, after a four-day selection camp in Milton, ON that concluded on Sunday.
Of the 18 players named to the team, only two did not see action with Canada’s National Sledge Team in 2007-08 – forward Matthew Cook (Edmonton, AB) and defenseman James Gemmell (Quesnel, BC), who will make their national team debuts in 2008-09.
“We were excited with the sledge hockey talent we saw at the selection camp, and are very pleased with the players we have selected to be a part of the national team this year,” said Snyder. “Sledge hockey is continuing to grow in Canada, and we think we have the country’s best players on our roster.”
In addition to the 15 world champions on the roster, Canada’s 2008-09 National Sledge Team also includes 15 members of Canada’s gold medal-winning team from the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy and 14 members of Canada’s gold medal-winning team from the 2007 World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Kelowna, BC.
2008-09 NATIONAL SLEDGE TEAM SCHEDULE
October 1-5 | Training Camp | Halifax, NS
November 18-22 | 2008 World Sledge Hockey Challenge | Charlottetown, PE
January 10-17 | 4 Nations Tournament | Nagano, Japan
February 23-March 1 | Sledge Invitational Tournament | Vancouver, BC
Spring 2009 Training Camp Location TBA
May 5-16 | 2009 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship | Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic
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 Turin in 2006, as Canada captured a gold medal in sledge hockey for the first time at the Paralympics.