CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada announced on Monday the 18 players that will make up the 2009-10 National Sledge Team roster.
Sixteen of the 18 players spent time with the National Sledge Team during the 2008-09 season, at events including the 2009 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship and 2009 Hockey Canada Cup. Two players – goaltender Corbin Watson (Kingsville, Ont./Windsor Ice Bullets) and forward Derek Whitson (Chatham, Ont./Windsor Ice Bullets) – are newcomers to the team.
The 18 players were selected from a group of 29 that competed at Canada’s National Sledge Team selection camp this past weekend in Milton, Ont.
“We were thrilled with the competitiveness and passion that our players brought to the ice in Milton,” says Jeff Snyder, head coach of Canada’s National Sledge Team. “We’re lucky in Canada to have great depth in sledge hockey. The players who cracked the final roster definitely worked hard to earn their spots.”
The 18 players are in Calgary, Alta., this week for a training camp, with the team practising at the Pengrowth Saddledome Tuesday, August 25 (2-4 p.m.), Wednesday, August 26 (11 a.m.-1 p.m.), and Thursday, August 27 (12:30-1:30 p.m.). The National Sledge Team will also compete in several international games and tournaments.
The 18-player roster announced on Monday isn’t the final roster for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C. Canada’s National Sledge Team staff – including team manager Adam Crockatt, head coach Snyder and assistants Shawn Frydberg and Mike Mondin – will monitor the progress of players throughout the rest of 2009 and early 2010 to finalize Canada’s 15-player roster for the 2010 Paralympics.
Canada is the defending Paralympic champion, having won the gold medal in 2006 in Torino, Italy. For more information on the National Sledge Team, visit hockeycanada.ca