PEI Ice Breakers Sledge Hockey team will be traveling to Fort Lauderdale for their first International Sledge Hockey tournament, the South Florida Sled Invitational from February 24-26, 2017. The 4 team tournament will be made up of teams from Florida, the Space Coast Hurricanes, Rockledge, FL, the Tampa Bay Lighting, Tampa Bay, FL and Tiger Sharks Lake Worth, FL and the PEI Ice Breakers.
The PEI Ice Breakers have been the top of the Maritime teams for the last three years. The team currently has 10 players, but for this event, they have recruited players from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to add an extra line to their roster. One of those players includes 14 year old Jacob Leblanc from Moncton, NB who is a prospect for the Canadian National Sledge Hockey Team.
Eric Payne, the team manager, would like Islanders to know that there is a great deal of passion and growth in this sport on PEI and in Canada. “The team has matured over these past few seasons. We are now in a place where we can entertain these types of opportunities and be competitive”, says Payne. “There are similar opportunities in sledge hockey as there are with any other amateur sport. Participating in the South Florida Sled Invitational is an example of this”.
The PEI Ice Breakers Sledge Hockey Program was created in 2009 following the 2008 & 2009 World Sledge Hockey Challenge that were held in Charlottetown. The legacy fund that was created from hosting the two events was used to purchase sleds and to promote the sport Island wide. The Ice Breakers play out of the South Shore Actiplex in Crapaud. The team is co-ed and the majority of the players do have a physical disability which is the priority; however those who do not have a disability are encouraged to participate.
Other teams in the Maritimes are Cape Breton, Halifax and Berwick, Nova Scotia. Three tournaments are held regionally. The PEI Ice Breakers have made two appearances and the London Ontario Blizzard Hockey tournament in the last 6 years.
If you are looking for further information regarding the PEI Ice Breakers Sledge Hockey Program, please contact the ParaSport and Recreation PEI office at 902-368-4540 or [email protected]