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Coors Field Hosting Sled Hockey Game Sunday

by Bill Price | / Colorado Avalanche

DENVER -- The 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game Saturday between the Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings was the marquee event of a big hockey weekend in the Mile High City, but it won't be the last game.

On Sunday, the NHL and Colorado Avalanche will host a sled hockey exhibition game between the Warrior Avs -- composed of military veterans -- and the 2015 National Champion Colorado Avalanche sled hockey team on the Coors Field rink.

"Sled hockey is for people with physical disabilities," said Corey Fairbanks, Executive Director, Colorado Adaptive Sports and President of Colorado Avalanche Sled Hockey. "All of our guys are on sleds, which have two skates. But all the rules are the same and the intensity is the same."

Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog will be on hand to watch the event, but he won't be there merely as a representative of his team. He is a friend of Fairbanks and is equally excited for the game.

"I met him a few years ago at one of our team galas and he talked about the organization they have with the sled hockey team in Colorado," Landeskog said. "He's done a great job. It's really tremendous to see them get a chance to skate out there. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

Landeskog was able to experience sled hockey for the first time on Feb. 10 at a sled hockey clinic for kids.

"I went out to a sled hockey event and practiced a couple of weeks ago and I kind of got hooked," Landeskog said. "I'm looking forward to coming out and saying hello to the guys on Sunday; it's cool they get a chance to get out there."

"A couple of weeks ago he came out with us and has a new appreciation for the sport. He was running into walls; suddenly he was a beginner," Fairbanks said about Landeskog. "He had a blast. All the kids had smiles on their faces. It shows you what a great guy he is and what kind of the organization the Avalanche are."

Like Landeskog, Fairbanks called the chance to play sled hockey on the outdoor rink at the home of the Colorado Rockies baseball team a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"Our guys are really excited. It's an honor to be part of this national event," Fairbanks said. "We are extremely grateful to the NHL and Avalanche."

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