National team showcase game August 27 in preparation to Team USA in Pittsburgh
Matt Morrow (left) works with Courage Canada Blind Hockey players at
Prospera Centre in November 2013.
MATT MORROW—CANADIAN BLIND HOCKEY—VOICE FILE PHOTOS
anadian Blind Hockey is hosting the first-ever National Team Training Camp for the sport of Blind Hockey this week at Burnaby 8 Rinks, culminating with a noon hour showcase game on Monday, August 27, from 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm.
The event is free and open to the public, as the top Blind Hockey players in the country play an inter-squad scrimmage to showcase the rapidly growing para-sport of Blind Hockey.
Blind Hockey is played all across Canada by athletes who are blind or partially sighted who have approximately 10% vision or less. The sport uses an adapted puck that makes noise and is larger than a traditional puck.
The Canadian National Team is made up of players and coaches from five different provinces, including five members from the lower-mainland, who were selected based on their outstanding performance history at the Canadian National Blind Hockey Tournament which takes place annually in Toronto, ON.
The sport has been played in Canada since the 1970’s, but was only founded in the United States in 2014 through the combined efforts of Canadian Blind Hockey and some interested American players. After four years of development, USA Hockey now has 7 established Blind Hockey Teams, and were able to name a Team USA to compete versus the top Canadian players in the world’s first international Blind Hockey series, which will take place in Pittsburgh, PA from October 12 through 14.
Blind hockey player sits behind safety glass at Prospera Centre in November 2013.
One of Canadian Blind Hockey’s goals is to export the sport around the world to create international competition opportunities for Canadian hockey players’ who are blind or partially sighted, with plans of establishing a four nations cup in 2020, a World Championships in 2022, and applying for inclusion in the 2026 Paralympic Games.
The organization is well on its way to achieving these goals, as in conjunction with the National Team Camp, the organization is also simultaneously hosting its fifth annual Canadian Blind Hockey Summer Development Camp, which has players and coaches from England and Finland participating who aspire to be the next nations to found National Blind Hockey Teams.
In competitive Blind Hockey, all players must comply with the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) classification eligibility standards. In the IBSA classification system, an athlete who is blind or partially sighted is classed as either a B1 – no vision, a B2 – approximately 5% functional vision or less, or a B3 – 10% or less. Each team is typically made up of seven B3 skaters, five B2 or B1 skaters, and two B1 goalies who are each assigned the corresponding amount of points.
To ensure a fair game that is determined by skill and performance rather than level of vision, each team may have a maximum of 14 points on the ice at any given time. All goalies must be classified as B1 – no functional vision.
What: Canadian National Blind Hockey Team Showcase Game
When: Monday, August 27. 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm.
Where: Burnaby 8 Rinks, Rink # 1. 6501 Sprott, Street. Burnaby, BC.
2018 CANADIAN NATIONAL BLIND HOCKEY TEAM
Francois Beauregard (Montreal, QC)
Anthony Ciullla (Langley, BC)
Shawn Dale (Brantford, ON)
Joseph Del Grande (Toronto, ON)
Mark DeMontis (Toronto, ON)
Bruno Haché (Montreal, QC)
Wyatt Harvey (Peterborough, ON)
Alex Angus MacEachen (Mabou, NS)
Gilles Ouellet (Montreal, QC)
Francois Pichette (Montreal, QC)
Kelly Serbu (Cole Harbour, NS)
Simon Richard (Dieppe, NB)
Scott Roberts (Richmond, BC)
Jason Yuha (Rosalind, AB)
Joey Cabral (Toronto, ON)
Gary Steeves (New Westminster, BC)
Lorne Webber (Edmonton, AB)
General Manager – Luca DeMontis (Toronto, ON)
Assistant General Manager – Robert Gignac (Montreal, QC)
Head Coach – Paul Kerins (Toronto, ON)
Assistant Coach – Jeff Street (Toronto, ON)
Goalie Coach – Joey Ali (Langley, BC)
Therapist – Mark Bentz (North Vancouver, BC)
Canadian Blind Hockey programs are made possible by our presenting partner AMI – Accessible Media Inc., as well as our national program partner the CNIB. The 2018 Canadian Blind Hockey Training Camp is supported by partners Sport Burnaby, Fortius Sport and Health, Canlan Ice Sports Burnaby 8 Rinks, and BC Blind Sports.
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