US Women's Sled Hockey Team scrimmages at Tam-O-Shanter - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

US Women's Sled Hockey Team scrimmages at Tam-O-Shanter

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Sled hockey is played almost exactly the same way as regular hockey, except that players strap themselves to sleds and push themselves down the ice with two sticks. Sled hockey is played almost exactly the same way as regular hockey, except that players strap themselves to sleds and push themselves down the ice with two sticks.
SYLVANIA, OH (Toledo News Now) -

The United States Women's Sled Hockey Team was in town last weekend, scrimmaging the Ohio men's team at Tam-O-Shanter in Sylvania.

Sled, or sledge hockey, is a sport in which disable athletes strap themselves into sleds and propel themselves forward with the back end of their sticks. Besides the sleds, the sport is identical to normal hockey.

"The only rule change or adaptation is they're playing in sleds rather than being on skates, but it is full checking, off sides, icing, everything applies," said Ohio Sled Hockey Coach Mike Fenster.

"The X's and O's, the game plan is very similar to able-bodied, other than of course the seated position. And there is full checking," said United States Woman's Sled Hockey Head Coach Shawna Davidson.  

Coaches say it takes an incredible amount of strength and endurance to move around the ice using only one's arms.

"You can watch it and you can realize that it's difficult to do, but until you try it yourself – you'll gain a whole new appreciation. These are athletes out there. These aren't guys out there just for fun," said Fenster.

Members of the woman's national team say they have seen a surge in the popularity of the sport.

"When we go to nationals there's like 36 teams. When we first started there was like maybe ten," said Team USA Captain Erica Mitchell.

"Over literally just like the last couple of years we've been starting to get donors and sponsors and now we're able to get together and develop this team to something much bigger," said Team USA Goalie Karen Smith.

For more on USA Sled Hockey, visit wwa.usahockey.com/players/sled.aspx.

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