CALGARY, Alta. – Thirty-three of the nation’s best sledge hockey players are hitting the ice at WinSport’s Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary Sept. 27 – Oct. 4 with their sights set on having their name on Canada’s National Sledge Team roster for the 2015-16 season.
The 33-player roster announced by Hockey Canada mirrors the names of those who attended a development camp in August, and includes four goaltenders, nine defencemen and 20 forwards. Its depth is evident with the return of 18 players who competed for Canada during the 2014-15 season, as well as 15 who helped Canada win a bronze medal at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The last time these players were together, the focus was on development. This time, the stakes are higher – Hockey Canada management and coaching staff will be selecting Canada’s National Sledge Team for this season at the end of next week’s selection camp.
“We had a strong development camp in Calgary last month, so the players and staff know what to expect. This should be an exciting camp and we will have some difficult decisions to make,” said Shawn Bullock, senior manager of hockey operations and national teams with Hockey Canada. “Our goal is to build the best team possible to have a successful year. Players have the World Sledge Hockey Challenge on their radar and want to be there, so there should be tremendous competition for roster spots.”
Players will participate in both on-ice and off-ice fitness testing, hit the ice for daily practices, and take part in three Red-White games.
Practices and games are open to public and free of charge.
This season, Canada’s National Sledge Team will be competing at tournaments around the world, including the 2016 World Sledge Hockey Challenge from Jan. 17-23 at the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre in Bridgewater, N.S.