Canada’s sledge hockey team readies for selection camp ahead of Beijing

27 players have been named to preliminary roster

Canadian sledge hockey player Liam Hickey in the 2021 IPC World Para Hockey Championship semifinal against the RPC.
Canadian sledge hockey player Liam Hickey in the 2021 IPC World Para Hockey Championship semifinal against the RPC. Courtesy Hockey Canada

Hockey Canada has invited 27 players to the men’s National Para Hockey Team selection camp in preparation of the 2022 Beijing Paralympics.

The camp will take place from Sept. 3-12 at WinSport Arena at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary – a fitting location with lasting memories of the 1988 Calgary Olympic Games.

There are 17 players, including two goalies, who competed on the team at the 2021 IPC World Para Hockey Championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic, but the men must work hard to keep their spots.

“The unveiling of our selection camp roster is an important first step in our preparations for the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games,” said head coach Ken Babey. “We know our players will come to camp motivated to compete for a spot on our team for the 2021-22 season.”

The roster that was selected to play at the World Championship fought hard in the gold medal game against the United States, but lost 5-1, coming home with silver.

Every member of the silver medal team will be present at the training camp in September, including top scorers from the 2018 Paralympic team Tyler McGregor and Liam Hickey.

The players roster won’t be the only talent-packed list associated with the team – coaching again this year is Saskatoon native Babey, alongside former Paralympian Steve Arsenault, retired NHL player Mike Foligno, and York University head coach Russ Herrington.

The Canadian men’s para hockey team has only one Paralympic gold medal (2006), alongside two silver (1998, 2018) and two bronze (1994, 2014).

However, Marshall Starkman, the manager of hockey operations with Hockey Canada, gave tone to the training camp, saying that the team has its eyes set on gold once again.

“With limited opportunities to gather as a full team over the past 16 months, our athletes and staff are excited to come together for selection camp as we kick off a new season,” said Starkman. “Looking ahead to Beijing, we know this camp will set the tone for the season and allow us to continue to build towards our ultimate goal of winning a gold medal at the Paralympics.”

Paralympic team selection will take place after the 10-day camp, almost five months before the Games are set to begin.

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Posted: Aug 31 2021 3:24 pm
Filed under: Hockey Parasports Sports Winter Games