Space Coast Hurricanes Sled Team Information
The 2010/2011 practice schedule is coming to a close! The remaining practice date is:
March 27 (Sunday, 11 a.m. - noon)
April 1-3 we will be in Blaine, Minnesota for the National Tournament.
Anyone interested in participating should contact Tom Reinarts at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (321)720-2043
About Sled Hockey
We would like to introduce you to a fairly new and expanding sport for the disabled. Most people are aware of wheelchair sports such as Track & Field and Basketball. What most people don't know is that the disabled can also play ice hockey.
Sled hockey (also called sledge hockey) started in the 1960’s in Stockholm, Sweden. It spread to the United States in 1990, and became an official Paralympic sport in the winter games in 1994. Sled hockey is played in sleds that consist of a plastic seat riding on a metal frame with two blades underneath the seat. Each player has a shortened hockey stick in each hand. The end of each stick has two stainless steel picks that the player uses to push the sled along the ice. The other end of the stick has the blade that the player uses to move the puck, pass, and shoot. Sled hockey rules are essentially the same as standard hockey rules, with a few exceptions made to accommodate the sleds.
Sled hockey gained a foothold in Florida in 2006 with a series of clinics over a spring weekend in Clearwater, followed by the establishment of programs in Miami and Tampa Bay later that year. One of the original participants in the Tampa program was Nick Reinarts of Merritt Island, an eighth grade student at Edgewood Junior/Senior High School. Nick’s father, Tom Reinarts, worked with the Space Coast Iceplex in Rockledge to bring sled hockey to Brevard County. The owner of the Iceplex, Rick Ninko, was very supportive of the idea, and brought in help from USA Hockey and SAHOF (State Amateur Hockey of Florida). Tim’s Kids, a program established by the late Tim Szymula to introduce children to hockey, recognizing the opportunity to make hockey possible for people who normally wouldn’t have a chance to play, has generously taken the sled hockey program under its wing. With help from the Miami program, sled hockey started in Rockledge on January 4, 2008. Since then, the program has grown to 20 players. Last season, our players competed against teams from Tampa, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, Alaska, and Minnesota in a sled hockey tournament. This season they will play in a number of games against competition from around the southeast.
We are looking for New Players!
June 6, 2010
The Sled Hockey teams at the spacecoast iceplex are looking for new players! All skill levels and all ages are welcome. We can accommodate a large number of disabilities. We have equipment that includes push bars and high backs that accommodates an even higher number of disabilities.
For instance, if your grip isn't tight enough to push, but is tight enough to hold a couple of sticks, we can incorporate a pusher. This is done frequently in sled hockey, and a number of competitive teams use pushers. Also, if back strength is weak, we can use the high backs to provide support. We have also worked a number of creative solutions for our players, and don't mind challenges!
Joining in is as simple as contacting us! The driving principles of our program are fun and healthy exercise. We also accommodate all levels of competition, from beginners to the national level.
More information can be obtained by e-mail at the following:
or by phone by calling Tom at (321)720-2043 or the Space Coast Iceplex at 321-504-7500.
Sled Hockey Games Sceduled Against Tampa on October 17 and November 21
Our game schedule is as follows:
Sunday, October 17: vs Tampa Bay at St Pete Times Forum, Tampa : 4 to 6 pm
Sunday, November 21: vs. Tampa Bay at St Pete Times Forum, Tampa : 4 to 6 pm
Sunday, December 5: vs. Tampa Bay at Rockledge : noon to 2:45 pm
The game against Ft Myers on October 2 was a lot of fun, and everyone had a great time! The Hurricanes shut out the Eels, and the game was followed by a friendly scrimmage, combining players from both teams.
More info will be coming soon!
Tim's Kids Intro to Sled Hockey Program
The Tim's Kids Sled Hockey program, an affiliate of the NHL's "Hockey is for Everyone" program, is a program intended for anyone with a disability that makes playing hockey on skates difficult or impossible. The only other restrictions are that participants must be at least five years old and should be new to the sport. There is no upper age limit. It will be a better experience for the players if they can grasp the sled hockey sticks with their hands and have some capability for arm movement. There is no cost to the participants, and even registration with USA Hockey is free! Don't worry if you are new to the sport of hockey or adaptive sports. We'll teach you everything you'll need to know. We ask that you be able to attend all ten sessions as we will progressively build upon the basic skills. In this way, we hope that we maximize the enjoyment of the sport and create long term sled players.
Sled hockey (also called sledge hockey) started in the 1960's in Stockholm, Sweden. It spread to the United States in 1990, and became an official Paralympic sport in the winter games in 1994. Sled hockey is played in sleds that consist of a plastic seat riding on a metal frame with two blades underneath the seat. Each player has a shortened hockey stick in each hand. The end of each stick has two stainless steel picks that the player uses to push the sled along the ice. The other end of the stick has the blade that the player uses to move the puck, pass, and shoot. Sled hockey rules are essentially the same as standard hockey rules, with a few exceptions made to accommodate the sleds.
Tim's Kids is the dream of the late Tim Szymula, who volunteered so much of his time to the support of youth hockey in Brevard County. Even with his passing, his giving did not stop. He directed a portion of his life insurance to be used to start up this program. That's how much he believed in it. The program has three facets: Tim's Kids Hockey, Tim's Kids Sled Hockey, and Friends for Life. Recently, the organization captured the attention of the National Hockey League via their "Hockey Is For Everyone" initiative, which seeks to grow the sport of hockey by making it more accessible to all walks of life. Tim's Kids is proud to be an affiliate of the National Hockey League.
Anyone interested in participating in the next session should contact myself, Susan Szymula, or Gary O'Neil. Please feel free to pass this along to anyone you think may be interested. We look forward to expanding our sled hockey and Tim's Kids family!
Sled Hockey Coordinator and father of a sled hockey player
Tom Reinarts email@example.com
Gary O'Neil firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Szymula email@example.com
More info on Tim's Kids: www.timskids.org
More info the Sled Hockey Program:
Tim's Kids/ Space Coast Hurricanes Sled Team Helping Jacksonville Start a Sled Hockey Program
July 17, 2010
We will be helping Jacksonville kick-off their sled hockey program on August 14, 2010. The clinic runs from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm. We will be sending mentors and coaches, along with some gear, to give them a good start!
Update: The turnout was fantastic! 23 players showed, demonstrating that Jacksonville has the potential for a strong program!
Everyone had a great time!
Space Coast Hurricanes Win Youth Sled B Division at Disabled Hockey Festival!
The Space Coast Hurricanes youth sled hockey team won the Youth Sled B Division at the USA Hockey Disabled Hockey Festival at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel, MD April 8-11. The Hurricanes claimed the championship with a 4-0 win against the Capital/Delaware Sled Warriors in the championship game on Sunday, April 11. The team played five games over three days against teams from Washington, DC, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Capital/Delaware, and Johnstown, PA. The Hurricanes won all three games in group play, and took the number one seed into the semi-finals. They beat Pittsburgh 5-0 in the semi-finals, and beat the Capital/Delaware team 4-0 in the finals.
The team included players from Brevard County and the Tampa area. Nick Reinarts (Merritt Island), Brandon Cole (Palm Bay), and Miles Goznell (Rockledge) have been playing at the Space Coast Iceplex since the local sled hockey program started in January 2008, and have been preparing for this tournament all season. Brandon played goalie in all five games, and gave up only three goals in the tournament. Nick Reinarts had 10 goals and 6 assists. Miles Goznell, playing under a novice exemption to the age limit, played solid defense and had one assist in the championship game. Players from the Tampa area included Declan Farmer, who had a number of goals and assists, and Chris Symons, who had one assist. The team also included two players from Buffalo, NY that joined the team because Buffalo did not have a Youth Sled B team. Tom Reinarts, Nick’s father, coached the Hurricanes Sled Team.
The festival brought together a total of 50 teams and nearly 800 players from 20 states across the United States. The 2010 festival hosted youth and adult sled tournaments; special hockey games; an exhibition between U.S. and international amputee all-star teams; and U.S. deaf/hard of hearing athletes competing against local able-bodied teams.
The 2010 festival also featured games with sled hockey players from the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program. Organized to operate exclusively for United States Military personnel wounded in defense of their country, the program's mission is to organize and administer an ice hockey program that provides a recreational, therapeutic experience and education to its participants.
Also among this year's highlights were appearances by the Stanley Cup; Duff Goldman, star of the Food Network's "Ace of Cakes," who designed, produced and delivered a custom-made cake; and members of the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team that won the gold medal at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C., last month.
This is the end of the season for the Hurricanes, and the team looks forward to competing again next year at the Festival in Blaine, Minnesota, April 1-3, 2011.
Grant Received from Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
The Tim's Kids Sled Hockey program was recently awarded a $2400 grant to pay for ice time that will be used to grow our local sled hockey program, as well as help other programs in Florida get started.
We are excited about continuing to grow the great sport of Sled Hockey in the state of Florida!
Sled Hockey Equipment Donated in Honor of Ben Szymaszek
We recently received a donation in memory of Ben Szymaszek. His family has generously donated new protective gear for the sled hockey program, including helmets, shoulder pads, shin guards, neck guards, and elbow pads. Ben was the father-in-law of Christine Szymaszek, who has been of invaluable assistance to us as we have developed our sled hockey progam. Once again, we are indebeted to the Szymaszek family.
Space Coast Hurricanes Ice Hockey