Pucks flying in Charlottetown at World Sledge Hockey Challenge
'Anytime these teams go up to play each other it's always a battle'
Sledge hockey fans are being treated to world class play this week in Charlottetown, as the 10th edition of the World Sledge Hockey Challenge is underway.
The level of play is some of the best you can see right now, as many of these players will be headed to the next Paraolympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
"This is the first tournament on their journey to 2018 so there's a lot to play for," said Brodie O'Keefe, event chair with the host organizing committee.
"People are playing for spots on those Olympic teams so they're out here to prove themselves to their coaching staff as well."
'Always a battle'
The challenge features teams from Canada, Norway, South Korea and the United States.
You can expect fast action and a lot of it in this tournament said O'Keefe, as the teams love facing off against each other.
"Anytime these teams go up to play each other it's always a battle," he said.
"They play each other only a handful of times over the course of the season so they want to come out and prove to the other team that they're the better team so they're always on edge and ready to play."
The next generation of fans
Some young fans are also getting the opportunity to take in the tournament. For the noon games all week, school classes have been invited to fill the seats.
"You can hear them talking and seeing how excited they are is pretty neat," said Andrew MacAdam, a teacher at East Wiltshire School.
MacAdam's class attended the U.S.-Norway game on Monday afternoon.
"The power that these athletes have really impresses the kids. Especially some of the comments you hear the kids saying how strong they are, they push each other and it's rougher than hockey they're drilling each other, it's pretty neat," he said.
"I think they have an appreciation of how athletic these people are. Most of them you'd consider them to be disabled, but really looking at them out there, they're quite able bodied."
Team Canada doing well
Canada won their first game Sunday against Norway, and play Korea Monday at 7 p.m.
Organizers say the big game will be Wednesday night when rivals Canada and the U.S. meet for the first time.
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