Hockey Canada Network |
News
The Bridge Back Home
Chris Jurewicz
|
WSHC.002.08
|
November 18, 2008
|
|

Hockey fans in Charlottetown know the name Billy Bridges.

And why shouldn’t they?

Bridges grew up in Guelph, ON but was born in Summerside, PEI. And he has quickly become one of the Island’s most high-profile athletes.

He started playing sledge hockey at the age of 12. And he’s been instrumental in Canada’s offence since he joined the team in 1999. Over the past two seasons, Bridges has posted 37 points – including 18 goals – in 19 games.

On top of that, Bridges has had success on the basketball court. He represented his country at two World Junior Wheelchair Basketball Championships (20), winning gold in 2001.

Despite all of that, many fans in PEI haven’t seen Bridges in action live. That is, until this week.

Bridges and Canada’s National Sledge Team will attempt to win gold at the 2008 World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown, which opens on Tuesday.

“Obviously I’m very excited to come to play in front of my home province,” Bridges says. “I'm definitely hoping some family can make it down from up west.”

Canada will be joined by Japan, Norway and the United States at the World Sledge Hockey Challenge. For those who follow the sport of sledge hockey, those teams are the who's who of the game. They are the top four-rated sledge teams on the planet, based on results at the 2008 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship, which Canada won in April 2008 in Massachusetts.

Bridges says his game has come a long way since joining the team in 2007. Back then, he says, he spent a little too much time focusing on the offensive side of the game. Since then, however, he’s learned the importance of helping out in his team’s zone.

“I didn't play much defence,” he says of his early days with the team. “I would cheat to get a breakaway wherever possible. Today, I pride myself on a more well-rounded game, and I take pride in my defence.”

This event is one of the events that Hockey Canada will use to determine Canada’s team for the much-hyped 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Canada will go into that tournament as the defending Paralympic gold medalists.

Despite that tournament being in the minds of Canada’s players, Bridges says he and others have to focus on the ‘now’.

“There is definitely a lot of pressure on for 2010, but we can't think of that too much,” he says. “Right now I'm focusing on training and tournaments and games in the near future, along with ways that I can make myself better.”

Bridges knows that he and his teammates will have targets on their backs throughout the week in Charlottetown.

“Since Canada is the reigning champion, the world will be out for our necks,” says Bridges. “We will need all the support we can get.”


For more information:

André Brin
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4557
abrin@hockeycanada.ca

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4564
fdupont@hockeycanada.ca

Jason LaRose
Manager, Content Services
Hockey Canada
403-777-4553
jlarose@hockeycanada.ca

Kristen Lipscombe
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-284-6427
klipscombe@hockeycanada.ca

Keegan Goodrich
Coordinator, Media
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
kgoodrich@hockeycanada.ca

facebook.com/hockeycanada

twitter.com/hockeycanada

youtube.com/hockeycanadavideos

Videos
Photos
2014 WU18C: CAN 3 - SUI 2
Apr 24, 2014
Konecny’s late goal sends Canada to the semifinals in Lappeenranta.
2014 Esso Cup: SUD 6 - FRA 3
Apr 24, 2014
A trio of Lady Wolves scores two goals each to lead Sudbury over Fraser Valley.
2014 TELUS Cup: HFX 5 - OKA 4
Apr 24, 2014
Halifax scored four times in the third period to stun Okanagan.
2014 Esso Cup: SUD 3 - EDM 2
Apr 23, 2014
A pair of power play goals in the second led Sudbury to its third win.
2014 Esso Cup: FRA 7 – MON 2
Apr 23, 2014
The Phantom fired 50 shots on net in picking up its first win of the Esso Cup.
2014 TELUS Cup: HAL 3 - CHA 7
Apr 23, 2014
Eight players had multi-point games to lead Châteauguay to its first win.
2014 TELUS Cup: TOR 4 - MJ 2
Apr 23, 2014
Marco Bozzo’s hat trick helped the Young Nationals to another win.
2014 Esso Cup: STC 3 - WEY 2
Apr 23, 2014
The Sabres scored three in the first and hung on to defeat the Gold Wings.
2014 TELUS Cup: OKA 1 - PA 1
Apr 23, 2014
Kjargaard and Bryshun traded goals in yet another tie game.
2014 TELUS Cup: MJ 3 - OKA 3
Apr 22, 2014
Another tie for both the Generals and Rockets, this time a 3-3 game.
2014 TELUS Cup: TOR 3 - HFX 0
Apr 22, 2014
Longo a marqué deux fois pour procurer un premier gain aux Young Nationals.
2014 Esso Cup STC 2 – SUD 1
Apr 22, 2014
A shorthanded goal from Alexa Vasko late in the second was the difference.
Schedule
Close
Credit  
Close
Photo Credit: