The CNY Sled Hockey Flyers will host its first ever sled hockey tournament March 21 through 23 in Skaneateles.
The games will take place on the Flyers’ home ice: William G. Allyn Ice Arena at the Skaneateles YMCA, 97 State St., Skaneateles.
The Flyers, now in its fourth year as a team, are a part of the Oswego-based non-profit organization Move Along Inc., team president Susan Arnold said. Move Along Inc. organizes sports and other activities for people who are physically disabled.
Sled hockey is played with similar rules to standard ice hockey, except the participants move around the ice on metal sleds propelling themselves with a pair of short sticks that are also used to pass and shoot the puck. Like standard hockey, the game gets physical and is highly competitive, though it requires a slightly different set of skills, Arnold said.
“You use all upper body strength, you do not use your legs at all, and for people that are not used to that, it is very taxing on their body,” she said.
The Flyers are always welcoming of new players and even have some players who are not disabled. but play alongside a disabled family member, Arnold said. The team is co-ed and has no age restraints: current members range from ages 12 to 49.
The tournament will also have a special guest in attendance. Paralympic gold-medalist, and Rochester native, Adam Page will be at the YMCA on Saturday of the tournament for a meet-and-greet. On March 15, Page and the United States sled hockey team defeated Russia in Sochi to win its second straight gold medal in the Paralympics.
The Flyers are the only sled hockey team for the Central New York and Rochester areas, so to play against other teams they must travel, or host games. For the upcoming tournament they will host the Fort Drum Warriors, Capital District Sled Warriors (from Albany) and Buffalo Sled Vets. In April, the team will also compete in the USA Disabled Hockey Festival in Marlborough, Mass.
The tournament will take place over three days in Skaneateles with games occurring at 6 and 7:30 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and the championship at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. Spectators are welcome.
For more information about the team and its parent organization, visit movealonginc.com.
Joe Genco is the editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.