For Immediate Release, March 29, 2011
For more information:
From USA Hockey:
From the National Sports Center:
Barclay Kruse, NSC Chief Communications Officer
BLAINE, Minn. (March 29, 2011) – The seventh annual USA National Disabled Hockey Festival is set to take place this weekend, April 1-3, at the Schwan Super Rink on the campus of the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn.
The Festival encompasses all four disciplines of disabled hockey – sled hockey, deaf/hard of hearing hockey, special hockey and standing/amputee hockey. A total of 41 teams from all over the U.S. will compete in 10 different divisions. Some of the states represented include Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois, Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri and Minnesota.
The event will feature the first-ever Adult Sled Hockey National Championship. The United States is the current Paralympic gold medalist, after beating Japan 2-0 in the gold medal game at the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games in Vancouver.
Highlighting the event will be an appearance by the Stanley Cup, which will be unveiled at the opening ceremonies on Friday, April 1, at 7 p.m on rink 3. It will also be available for photos from 5 – 9 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m – 2 p.m. on Saturday.
A unique feature of the tournament this year, is that for the first time, special boards will be installed to allow sled hockey players to slide between the playing surface and player box at ice level and also to have ice in the player box.
Another special event during the Festival will a showing of “Hockey Courage,” a 90-minute documentary film based on the lives and accomplishments of two elite sled hockey players, Adam Page, 19 and Mason Newbold, also 19, both of the Buffalo N.Y. area.
The movie traces the personal stories of Newbold and Page and their attempts to make the U.S. national sled hockey team in 2009 and 2010. It also weaves those stories around larger themes -- about young people playing hockey, about athletes with disabilities, about families sacrificing for their sons' and daughters' sports goals. The film will be shown on Saturday at 2, 4, and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 8 and 10 a.m. in the Dance/Fitness Room in the Figure Skating Center off rink 6 at the Schwan Super Rink.
All events during the USA National Disabled Hockey Festival are open to the public.
Here is a summary of the schedule:
Friday, April 1: Games from 7:25 a.m. – 6:45 p.m. on rinks 1, 2, 4, and 5. Opening ceremonies, 7 – 9 p.m. on rink 3.
Saturday, April 2: Games from 7:25 a.m. – 10:15 p.m. on rinks 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Sunday, April 3: Games from 7:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on rinks 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. The Tier I Sled Hockey National Championship game will be at 10:20 a.m. on rink 1. The Tier II National Championship game will be at 12 noon on rink 1.
The event is being hosted by Minnesota Hockey, an affiliate of USA Hockey, in conjunction with USA Hockey’s Disabled Hockey Section.
About the National Sports Center:
The National Sports Center (NSC) is a 600-acre multi-sport facility located in Blaine, Minnesota. The campus includes the Schwan Super Rink; a 8,500-seat soccer stadium; the Schwan Center meeting and convention building; a multi-faceted family golf center, the National Youth Golf Center, which features the 18-hole Victory Links course; an indoor Sports Hall with a FieldTurf field; 150-bed residence hall; and 52 soccer fields. The facility hosts nearly 300 events annually, and has welcomed approximately 28 million visitors since its opening. The NSC generates over $37 million in annual out-of-state economic impact.
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