Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Canadian Sledge Hockey Team Goes For Bronze After Losing To Japan

How far sledge hockey has come...

I would have to think with the exposure and the fact that the Paralympic games are held in Canada, the popularity of sledge hockey is on the rise. These guys are incredible. They play a tough game that can leave them bleeding and scarred and yet they come back to play the next day all over again. Forget incredible, these guys are hardcore. If you think a hit in hockey is harsh, check out sledge hockey.  If you want to be like these guys, ram two shopping carts together at high speed. Oh, you need to be sitting in them. BAM!

I have had the pleasure to watch a few of there games and I can say I enjoyed every minute of it.

Coverage of the game of last weekend's preliminary sledge hockey match between Canada and Italy, drew more than a million TV viewers. That's a good number for this sport. In fact, I'd say it's a great number. It's just too bad all thier games weren't shown on primetime TV.

We can all just hope that maybe now, some more Canadians will embrace these guys and cheer for them just like any other Team Canada team. GOCANADA!!!

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THE QUEST FOR GOLD IS OVER

Today the Canadian sledge hockey team lost in a dramatic semi-final game to Japan in a 3-1 loss. With the score tied up at one, the winning goal -- the 2nd goal of the game for Japan -- came with 1:13 left in the 3rd period.

The third goal was scored as an own goal on an empty net by Greg Westlake, the tournament's leading scorer. He was trying to make a pass to the blueline and missed the defencemen and it sailed all the way down into the empty Canadian net.

The Canadian fans were stunned with shock while the Japanese fans were crying with joy. Even the Japanese goaltender couldn't hold his emotions and was crying after that final buzzer went.

One country ecstatic, the other, devastated.

"Canada would beat us if we played them 1,000 times, we're going to lose 999,'' said Japanese head coach Kojin Nakakita. "But not this one.''  Not this one indeed.

The Canadian sledge hockey team now moves on to the bronze medal game. Even with the disappointment of not making it a sweep of gold for hockey -- and repeat as champions -- these guys are making us proud no matter what.

Captain Jean Labonte had this to say, "We had a lot of chances and we had them pinned down in their end quite a few times during the game and we couldn't capitalize,'' said Labonte, who helped Canada win gold at the 2006 Paralympics. "Hats off to them (Japan).''

Get ready Canada, you have a bronze medal to win.

If you have never watched sledge hockey and you have no idea what I am talking about, please click on the link below and enjoy the highlights of the game.


-Written by Smokin' Ray Burnt-

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