Sled Hockey can best be described as a combination of Hockey, Skiing, and Bobsledding. The athletes that compete in this sport have to possess tremendous upper body strength in order to propel themselves up and down the ice. Unlike the style of Hockey that is played in the NHL, Sled Hockey is played with two sticks that are about one-third of the length of a regular stick. While the stick blades are used to shoot and pass, the shafts are used like ski poles to gain speed as they accelerate from blueline to blueline. Although there are some equipment modifications, this sport has rules that are almost identical to traditional hockey. As an official event of the Paralympic Winter Games, this sport that was born in Sweden in the 1960’s is truly on the rise.
The Phoenix Coyotes Sled Hockey Team is made up of players with varying skill levels ranging from beginners to a former member of the U.S. National Team. They all share a passion for the game and clearly love to be out on the ice every chance they get. Whether it is watching someone stop on a dime, or rip a wrist shot into the net, it does not take long to become a fan of the game. No one that has ever watched this sport can question the commitment, courage, and perseverance that all sled hockey competitors carry on the ice.
PhoenixCoyotes.com Host Matt Rosen went out to the Alltel Ice Den to watch the action on the sleds and catch up with some of the players.