Paralympic Experience October 4th, 2014 Bayonne, New Jersey
The New York Youth Sled Rangers had quite an exciting weekend. On September 26 through 28 the team, sponsored by the WSF as well as the National Hockey League’s New York Rangers, traveled to play the Minnesota Wild Junior Sled Hockey Team in a three game tournament. The Sled Rangers cater to physically disabled youth, and range in age from 5 to 21. It was an action-packed tournament for the kids as they played 3 games over a two day span. The team continued to adjust and improve as the tournament went on. Coach Victor Calise said of the weekend, "It was great to see the kids develop. There was a major difference between the first and last game. Having them realize their potential, and seeing them excel at it is something that’s truly amazing." The Rangers came out strong, but the Wild, with eight years of experience, ultimately outmatched the newly formed team.
Despite the loss, the Rangers players came out with smiles on their faces after an exciting trip. They visited the Mall of America, and got to scrimmage during the 2nd intermission of the NHL Wild versus Jets game in front of 10,000 people. The Sled Rangers would like to thank the Wheelchair Sports Federation, the New York Rangers, and Pine River Capital Management for making the trip possible as well as the Minnesota Wild and their Sled Hockey program for their hospitality throughout. They look forward to continue traveling and improving their skills on the ice.