Sled Hockey made its debut at the 1994 Paralympic Games. The gameplay is similar to ice hockey, however, instead of skates players use double-blade sleds, which allow the puck to pass beneath. They also use two double-ended sticks, each of which have a blade-end for shooting and puck handling, and a spiked end for pushing.
There are three periods — 20 minutes each, and it is played on a regulation sized ice rink with standard size nets and puck — with body-checking and snapshots permitted. Each team ices six players, three forwards, two defensemen, and a goalie. The only requirement to play sled hockey is that you have a disability that prohibits you from playing stand up.
Goals are always hard to come by in sled hockey, but these players make it look easy:
USA’s Declan Farmer snipes top shelf, with a wrist-shot beating Canada’s netminder.
Korea’s Seung-Hwan Jung fires a ‘half-clapper’ (snap shot) high glove-side on Swedish goaltender Ulf Nilsson.
Brody Roybal finishes off a smooth two-on-one lifting the puck up and over the Italian goalie.
Andrey Dvinyaninov drops a ‘hat-trick’ (three goals) on Italy, including his second — a roofed shot from a near impossible angle.
This compilation of Sled Hockey hits demonstrates the sheer physicality required to play this tough, sometimes brutal sport.
(All Videos courtesy the Paralympic Games)
Watch Ice Warriors: Team USA Sled Hockey here.