For many in New Hampshire and throughout the northeast, the arrival of fall means the start of hockey season. For those with mobility impairments, it still means hockey…sled hockey!
Sled hockey is an ice sport that allows individuals with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy and participate in the popular winter sport. Sled hockey is played as a team sport and the concepts and rules are the same as “stand-up” hockey. Instead of standing up to skate, participants sit on an adaptive device known as a sled. To propel themselves, players use two shortened hockey sticks with a blade on one end and metal picks for propulsion on the other end.
Hard checking, pin point passing, and 60-mile an hour slap shots are as much a part of sled hockey as they are in “stand-up” hockey. From beginners to the most aggressive competitors, Northeast Passage welcomes all participants to try the sport or be a part of the Northeast Passage team.
The Northeast Passage/UNH Sled Hockey Team practices weekly and competes in the Northeast Sled Hockey League with teams from New England and beyond. The team also competes in national tournaments and participates in exhibition games and special events.
Northeast Passage also offers a Youth Sled Hockey program for youth ages 5-18 interested in developing skills to advance within the sport. The team practices weekly during the winter season and participates in regional tournaments and scrimmages. This program focuses on youth with physical disabilities who are seeking a competitive outlet and team environment.
Thanks to Phillips Exeter Academy and St. Paul's School for their support of this program through ice time. Additional support provided by the Homer Family Fund and Grimshaw–Gudewicz Charitable Foundation.
Northeast Passage, UNH Athletics, and the Paralympics:
Northeast Passage, UNH Athletics, and U.S. Paralympics have joined forces to create a unique model for sled hockey and sled hockey development. The Northeast Passage team competes in the Northeast Sled Hockey league and in other games and events in the northeast. While this team is open to all participants, it provides some players the unique opportunity to be a college student and a sled hockey player at the same time, without compromise. These student athletes have access to the same facilities and coaching as their able bodied counterparts. This benefit allows these same athletes the opportunity to work with and mentor the next generation of sled hockey players. Please see the Athlete Development page for more information on this program or contact Northeast Passage directly.
Slip Into A Sled
Slip Into A Sled is a team-building program that gives hockey players of all ages and abilities the exclusive opportunity to try sled hockey firsthand. Its intent is to increase knowledge of the Paralympic sport within the New England hockey community while simultaneously reinforcing the notion that hockey is for everyone.
Participants get the opportunity to slip into sleds alongside members of Northeast Passage’s nationally ranked sled hockey teams and not only learn how to play the sport directly from them, but also how the sport has impacted their lives. Slip Into A Sled serves as a humbling and eye-opening experience for participants in addition to giving them chance to try something fun, new, and exciting.
Host teams or organizations are responsible for obtaining 90 minutes of ice time for Slip Into A Sled, in addition to paying a $500 contracted service fee for equipment and staffing. Northeast Passage will come to your rink with 25 sleds and 25 pairs of sled hockey sticks to create an unforgettable experience for all!