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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Welcome New, Experienced, Young, Old, Everyone!

It's been an exciting month for sled hockey!

For those of you who have never heard of sled hockey or didn't know there was a team in Southern California, we want to welcome you to our website and let you know we are not just here, but very active. A lot of people have seen sled hockey in the Paralympics, seen a feature of our team on Kings Weekly, or read about us in the newspaper. Whatever your reason for visiting this site, welcome! In addition to this site, we have a site group on Facebook here, and you can also follow SoCalSledHockey on Twitter to keep up with us on social media. If you have a question you need answered, send an e-mail to

Note new practice times. Our Monday practices are now from 7:20-8:20 PM ice time. Players should try to get there by 7:00 to be ready to hit the ice when the Zamboni goes off.

For those who haven't heard, USA won the gold medal in Sochi for the Paralympics, defeating Russia 1-0 in the gold medal game. The lone goal was scored by Josh Sweeney who roofed the puck on a breakaway.

Josh Sweeney's game winning goal against Russia on March 15, 2014.

The Paralympic tournament consisted of five games for the USA. USA beat Italy 5-1 on March 8. The next day, USA beat Korea 3-0. On March 11, Russia upset USA 2-1, and that made USA second in group A. For the semi-finals, USA played Canada, a matchup many people hoped would happen in the final gold medal game. Not to be deterred by their loss to Russia, USA beat Canada 3-0, advancing to the gold medal game. Russia, who beat Norway in the semi-finals, would be USA's opponent. Of course, since the Paralympics were in Sochi, Russia, USA would be facing a team that had the home ice advantage and they had already lost to five days earlier. Nonetheless, USA was able to hold Russia out, goalie Steve Cash delivering a shutout. Canada ended up taking home the bronze after defeating Norway 4-0. This marks the third Paralympic gold medal for USA, and the second in a row. USA became the first sled hockey team to win back to back golds. Now, on to Pyeongchang, Korea. In four years, we hope to have some West Coast representation on the USA National Team.

The gold-medal winning USA Paralympic sled hockey team!

Josh Pauls shows off his gold medal on the ice.

Cheryl Lipsett, Taylor Lipsett's mom, enjoys the moment her son wins his second Paralympic gold medal.

The excitement of the Paralympics hasn't been the only thing that has created a buzz in the sled hockey world.

Fox Sports West came out to two of our practices in November and February and put together a very well-done and visually appealing two part segment for Kings Weekly. The Kings Weekly episode aired March 6-12 on Fox Sports West and was on the Fox Sports West Website. You can read the article they wrote and see both video segments if you click here.

Basically, the first video is about the team preparing for the NHL Sled Classic in Pittsburgh, and the second video is about the tournament.

Screenshot of our kids from the Fox Sports West video.

Pedro and Andrew check each other a lot in the video. Maybe they have some hidden animosity toward each other, but they were probably just showing off.

Summer, Pedro, Nick, and Wes all get interviewed, along with Todd and Christie.

Terry shows Fox Sports West's Alex Curry how to maneuver a sled and handle a puck. Everyone falls the first time they try a sled, and Alex Curry spends a lot of time learning that truth as well.

Also, LA Newsgroup ran an extremely informative article in all of the LA Newsgroup papers written by Tom Hoffarth.

You can find the article here
And, a gallery of photos taken by Jennifer Cappuccio that goes along with the article is here.

The LA Newsgroup includes the following newspapers:
Los Angeles Daily News
Long Beach Press-Telegram
Torrance Daily Breeze
Pasadena Star-News
Whittier Daily News
San Gabriel Valley Tribune
San Bernardino Sun
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Redlands Daily Facts

If you have a copy of the newspaper, save it for posterity. If you don't want to save it, please pass it along to one of our sled hockey athletes if you can. It is a thrill for them to see themselves in the newspaper.

Team News:

The last time we were at Staples center in September, 2013.

March 29- Sled hockey night at LA Kings game at Staples Center. The Kings will be playing the Winnipeg Jets. LA Kings Sled Hockey will be doing a between-period demo during the game, and players will be watching the game in a suite with their families and friends when they aren't doing their demo. If you want to see the demo or meet the players, buy tickets from the Kings, Staples, or your regular ticket broker.

April 11-13 Disabled Hockey Festival in Boston. Several players from the LA Kings Sled Hockey team will be going and will join the Capital District Sled Warriors, a team comprised of all disabled military vets, to play games as one large team. We are still accepting donations and fundraising ideas to help our athletes pay for their trips.

Us against the Phoenix Coyotes in a previous game.

Late April-Early May- LA Kings Sled Hockey against Phoenix Coyotes Sled Hockey. More details will come, but this will be an away game in Phoenix and will probably require an overnight stay.

June- LA Kings Sled Hockey vs Patriots Hockey fundraiser game. Date TBA. We will split the profits 50/50 with the Patriots Hockey team, a team of 100% military vets. They are a standing hockey team that does fundraising hockey games for organizations that help wounded veterans. We will put the Patriots players in hockey sleds and play them that way. This game will have a ticket entrance fee to help with the fundraiser.
From our 2013 clinic.

July 14-19- USA Hockey Sled Select Camp in Buffalo, NY for players who are ready to take their sled hockey play to the next level. Last year Pedro went to this camp and came back with incredible hockey skills. If you are hoping to get nominated for this camp, please see Coach Andrew and Todd and Christie, because the coach has to nominate you. It is generally for players 14-21 years old, though sometimes they allow older players to go to the camp.

Also...... our 2014 sled hockey clinic and open house is coming up. We are working on possibly having a game in Las Vegas during Frozen Fury, and we are obviously looking forward to going to the 2014 NHL Sled Classic in November. In addition, Todd is working hard on putting together a 3 on 3 tournament for the kids. We are also hoping to have the kids go with us to Phoenix and possibly Vegas, since both Phoenix and Vegas have a kids' sled hockey program as well. It all depends on available ice time and funding.

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