Minot Parks release
Minot is set to become the epicenter of sled hockey action as Sled Hockey Week descends upon the city from March 10 to March 17, 2024. The focal point of this week-long celebration is the exhilarating rematch between the reigning Paralympic Winter Game Champions, Team USA, and their fierce rivals, Team Canada, at the MAYSA Arena on March 13, 14, and 16, following their thrilling 2022 gold medal showdown in Beijing, China.
The event is cohosted by Minot Park District, Minot Hockey Boosters, and Prairie Grit Adaptive Sports and will include an adult and youth sled hockey tournament.
“We are excited to be rolling out the red carpet for these athletes and make this a memorable experience for players, coaches and fans.” says Elly DesLauriers, Executive Director, Minot Park District. “It is a tremendous honor to welcome two national teams to our community. We look forward to the opportunity to showcase these athletes at our very own MAYSA Arena.”
Overseen by USA Hockey, the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team represents the United States in international competitions. Currently the defending Paralympic gold medalists, Team USA has to date claimed five Paralympic Winter Games gold medals (2022, 2018, 2014, 2010, 2002) and six International Paralympic Committee Sled Hockey World Championship gold medals (2023, 2021, 2019, 2015, 2012, 2009) in addition to nine Para Hockey Cup titles (2022, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 (Dec.), 2016 (Jan.), 2015, 2012, 2009), the 2022 International Para Hockey Cup, the 2018 Turin Para Ice Hockey International Tournament and the 2016 IPC Pan-Pacific Championship title.
“The team is super excited to play in front of the great hockey fans in Minot,” said Dan Brennan, general manager of the U.S. National Sled Hockey team. “Fans will appreciate the speed of the game, and we are looking forward to competing with Canada.”
The week will include the intense series between the rival national teams and a three-day tournament, the Sled Hockey Classic, where youth and adult amateur teams will clash.
“These are two fantastic rivals hitting the ice,” explains Thor Nelson, Board member for Prairie Grit. “The whole week of games will be an explosive display of how exciting sled hockey truly is and it starts with Team USA and Team Canada.”
Nelson, who has spearheaded the effort in bringing the two international teams to Minot, hopes to establish a professional hockey tone around the adaptive sport in the Magic City.
“The work Thor has put in bringing Team USA and Team Canada to Minot with the Sled Hockey Classic is a great example of how far our volunteers will go to make a difference for our participants,” says Krystal Butgereit, Executive Director for Prairie Grit. “The whole week is also a great example of how the sport of Sled Hockey has grown in our community. We love that our young athletes will get a chance to watch and learn from some of the best in the world.”
Registration for the Sled Hockey Classic will open October 1. For more details on schedule, requirements, and how to register please visit prairiegritsports.com.