SASKATOON, Sask. – Canada’s National Sledge Team will attempt to win back-to-back gold medals at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C.
And the team will look a lot like it did in 2006, when Canada won its first sledge hockey gold medal at the Paralympics in Turin, Italy.
On Monday at Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, Hockey Canada unveiled the 15-player National Sledge Team roster that is headed to Vancouver for the 2010 Paralympics. Thirteen players – including team captain Jean Labonté (Hull, Que.) and alternates Brad Bowden (Orton, Ont.) and Greg Westlake (Oakville, Ont.) – return to the 2010 team after competing in the 2006 Paralympics.
“We believe we have the 15 men who will battle hard for gold in Vancouver,” says Jeff Snyder, head coach of Canada’s National Sledge Team. “We held a number of events and camps in 2009-10 with a deep pool of players and we’re excited today to have our team for the Paralympic Winter Games.”
Canada’s National Sledge Team competed in a four-game series against the United States and won silver at the 2009 World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown, P.E.I., in November. The team has been in Saskatoon since January 1, holding practices daily.
Canada will open the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games on March 13 against Italy. Canada’s other preliminary games will be against Sweden and Norway.