CALGARY – Hockey Canada has named its National Sledge Team roster for the 2009 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship, scheduled for May 9-16 in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Canada is the defending world champion, having won gold in 2008 in Marlborough, Massachusetts.
The 15-player roster includes 14 players who helped Canada win gold at the 2008 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship, and 13 who were part of Canada’s gold medal-winning team at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy. The roster includes one rookie, forward Matt Cook.
The world championship roster announcement comes one year to the day from the start of the sledge hockey tournament at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, BC, where Canada will look to defend its gold medal on home ice.
Over the next week, Hockey Canada’s official website, www.hockeycanada.ca, will feature special sledge hockey-related content, marking the start of the one-year countdown to the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, which will be held from March 12-20, 2010.
“We are excited to announce our roster today, and look forward to trying to defend our world championship,” said Jeff Snyder, head coach of Canada’s National Sledge Team. “With only one year to go until the Paralympics it is obviously in the backs of our minds, but we are focused on the Czech Republic and winning another gold medal for Canada.”
In addition to its 2008 gold medal, Canada was crowned world champion in 2000 in Salt Lake City, Utah. It finished fourth at the 2004 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden.
Canada’s National Sledge Team is 12-1 during the 2008-09 season, winning gold medals at the 2008 World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown, PEI in November 2008, 2009 4 Nations tournament in Nagano, Japan in January 20 Hockey Canada Cup in Vancouver, BC in March 2009.