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Hankering for hockey: NHL Sled Hockey Classic comes to Amherst

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

As NHL fans frowned and grumbled upon hearing about the cancellation of the Winter Classic, the frustration of the league’s lockout continued to mount. Fortunately for Buffalo hockey fans, the NHL Sled Hockey Classic presents an opportunity to fill the puck-shaped void.

It’s free to attend the tournament that runs from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the Northtown Center, 1615 Amherst Manor Dr., Williamsville. The tournament set-up separates NHL-sponsored sled hockey teams into two divisions—a 10-team elite group and a four-team developmental group—and will determine a champion from both.

Per the USA Hockey press release:

Sled hockey is a fast-paced, hard-hitting sport played by athletes who use a pair of short hockey sticks to handle pucks and propel themselves on special hockey sleds, rather than the skates used in stand-up hockey.

Invented in Sweden as a means for athletes with physical disabilities to continue to compete, the sport transitioned easily to the U.S. and even Western New York, which currently boasts three players on the U.S. National Team.

Here’s video from Winging It! TV that shows how the game is played—with a few interviews as well:

TAGGED: hockey, nhl, northtown center, sled, usa hockey

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