-6.3 C
Saturday, December 7, 2019
Connecting Our Communities

Team Canada prepares for para ice tournament with training camp at WMC

The Woolwich Memorial Centre was the training ground last week for 22 elite athletes on Canada’s National Para Ice Hockey team. Their presence there was also an opportunity for members of the Woolwich Thrashers squad to interact with the players.

The rules of para ice hockey, which caters to athletes with physical disabilities, are similar to standard ice hockey; the main difference is that players are seated on sleds and use special hockey sticks with metal “teeth” on the tips of the handles to help navigate the ice.

“I watched their practice; they were so fast,” said 5-year-old Alex Winter of Elora, a member of Woolwich Thrashers. “They’re the best.”

The local team got to meet the national team at the concourse café in the WMC last Thursday night for a meet-and-greet, photo and autograph session.

“Quite a few of our kids showed up – they were really excited about it,” said Keith Metzger, founder of Woolwich Thrashers. “It went really well.”

Attendance of the training camp was not particularly high, said Metzger, but that may have been attributed to the timing. The red-versus-white games took place during the weekdays from 2 p.m. until about 4:30 p.m., a timeframe when most people are at work.

“The township did really good making sure the players got what they needed – they kept the ice in good shape, moving benches in and out even though it was extra work for them. … The township worker guys did a great job,” said Metzger.

The training camp was a developmental showcase, consisting of practices as well as three red-versus-white games. Team white and team red both won a matchup each, while the third game was less about scoring and more focused on miscellaneous techniques, such as mismatched player numbers, and pulling the goalie.

“It was very exciting for me. It’s surprising how fast they are, and how quick they turn,” said Metzger. “It’s pretty amazing.”

Metzger added that Team Canada staff were pleased with the facility, and expected that they might visit again in the future. The training camp was intended to prepare players for their upcoming 2019 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup tournament taking place in early December.

Players on Team Canada come from all across the country, from as far west as British Columbia to as far east as Newfoundland. During their time in Woolwich, the athletes stayed in Waterloo.

Corbyn Smith of Monkton was the closest to home. The 21-year-old said he is confident about the team’s chances heading into the upcoming tournament.

“I grew up pretty close to here, so to have a camp so close to home … it’s really awesome,” said Smith. “I think our team’s looking great. … I feel great personally, so we’ll see what happens in a couple of weeks, but I know we’re well-prepared.”

Team Canada will travel to Paradise in Newfoundland to take on Czech Republic, Russia, and the United States on December 1-7.

Veronica Reiner
Veronica Reinerhttp://www.observerxtra.com
Veronica Reiner is a Reporter Photographer for The Observer.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.


Answering the childhood question that rolls around at the holidays

Get into the Christmas spirit with a fresh retelling of a classic tale inspired by real events in Elora Community Theatre’s lastest offering. The story of “Yes, Virginia, There...

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Woolwich to attach overdue water bills to property taxes in bid to simplify collections process

Looking to simplify the collection process for overdue water and sewer bills – and increase the chance of getting its hands on...

Kings win another pair, solidify hold on first place

Seven is considered a lucky number. The Sugar Kings likely agree after putting up seven goals twice on route to a pair...

Putting the cold on ice with the annual hat and mitten toss at Saturday’s Sugar Kings game

There’ll be no need to wait until somebody scores three goals to toss hats out onto the ice, as the Elmira Sugar...

Jacks fall to second after losing twice over the weekend

Sunday’s lousy weather may not have been to everyone’s liking, but the Wellesley Applejacks might have been the only ones happy...

Even those with jobs are increasingly reliant on food banks

An increasing number of full- and part-time workers across Ontario are accessing food bank services, a trend that can be seen in...

Answering the childhood question that rolls around at the holidays

Get into the Christmas spirit with a fresh retelling of a classic tale inspired by real events in Elora Community Theatre’s lastest offering.
- Advertisement -