Hanger LIVE Sled Hockey Classic featuring Team USA
On Monday, January 23, Hanger hosted a first-of-its-kind exhibition game featuring Team USA at the Hanger LIVE Sled Hockey Classic. Thanks to all who joined to support the 5-time Paralympic gold medal-winning team!
This was the first time the top-ranked U.S. National and Development Sled Hockey Teams played a nationally broadcasted exhibition match. The broadcast announcers consisted of an impressive group, including Paralympic gold medalists and 2022 Paralympic Winter Games NBC contributors Mallory Weggemann and Taylor Lipsett, along with Texas Rangers announcer and radio host Jared Sandler.
The defending Paralympic gold medal-winning team was made up of 17 players, including decorated medalists Josh Pauls and Declan Farmer who helped the team claim the gold medal at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games. Since its introduction to the Paralympic Games in 1994, the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team has won five Paralympic Winter Games gold medals (2022, 2018, 2014, 2010, 2002) and one bronze medal (2006), along with five International Paralympic Committee Sled Hockey World Championship gold medals. Members of the U.S. Women’s and Men’s Development Sled Hockey Teams also participated in the game, including one of Team USA’s youngest Paralympians, Lera Doederlein.
Watch the Hanger LIVE Sled Hockey Classic
Did you miss the live event? Watch the recorded event on YouTube.
What is sled hockey?
Sled hockey (sometimes referred to as para ice hockey or sledge hockey) was invented at a Stockholm, Sweden rehabilitation center in the early 1960’s by a group of Swedes who, despite their physical disability, wanted to continue playing hockey.
Sled hockey follows most of the typical ice hockey rules with the exception of some of the equipment. Players sit in specially-designed sleds that sit on top of two hockey skate blades. There are two sticks for each player, instead of one, and the sticks have metal spikes on the end for players to propel themselves. Goalies wear basically the same equipment but do make modifications to the glove. Metal spikes are sewn into the backside to allow the goalie to maneuver. Sled accessible rinks allow players to remain in their sleds and skate off the ice into the bench area. This requires that the bench area is flush with the ice and there is clear plexiglass replacing the white boards. Rinks and goals are regulation Olympic-size, and games consist of three 15-minute stop-time periods.
Sled hockey provides opportunities for people of varying abilities at the local level for recreation or competition, all the way to the National Sled Team that plays in World Championships and the Paralympics.1
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