Sled hockey is a cool sport. For athletes with physical disabilities, sled hockey is a second chance. Military wounds, car accidents and other tragedies cannot halt these individuals from finding a niche on ice.
For a sled hockey team in Canada known as the Cruisers, their experience with the sport got even better when some NHL superstars surprised them with a visit. In a series of videos just released by Gatorade Canada, Sidney Crosby, Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Ryan Miller, Logan Couture and Nathan MacKinnon all tossed aside their normal sticks and skates for sled hockey equipment one day in August to create lifetime of memories.
The game highlights show the NHL stars, while adjusting to their sleds, are on a rather level playing field with the Cruisers. The NHLers split teams with Crosby and Giroux wearing C's for both teams. Crosby knocks in an empty netter to cap off a 4-2 win for his team.
Gatorade Canada also unveiled some great interviews:
Sled hockey is known as sledge hockey nearly everywhere outside of the United States, thus the text of the videos in Canada. The U.S. Sled Hockey Team won the last two Paralympics gold medals in 2010 and 2014. In 2014, in Sochi, Russia took the silver medal and Canada the bronze.
These videos show a more tender side to a sport sometimes known more for hitting, fighting and slashing. At the very least, hockey fans will enjoy a reunion of Giroux and Hartnell, who played seven seasons together with the Philadelphia Flyers.