By J.J. O’Connor
USA Hockey will host the 2014 Sled Hockey Player Development Camp at the Northtown Sports Centre in Amherst, N.Y., from July 14-19, 2014.
Fifty-six male and female sled hockey players ages 13-32 will take part in the six-day camp, which will include daily practices and games. Among those select 56 players are Illinois’ Ethan Burkhart of the GLASA Falcons and Joey Gugliotta of the RIC Blackhawks. The purpose of the camp is to identify, train and educate the top sled hockey athletes in the United States. During the camp, players are evaluated by USA Hockey’s national evaluation staff, while competition gives the players the opportunity to measure themselves against others in the same age group, gain knowledge about their development and be exposed to top-level coaches.
Players attending the Sled Camp will also be evaluated for possible selection to the U.S. National Developmental Sled Hockey Team, which will compete in various national and international events during the 2014-15 season.
Meanwhile, the 2014-15 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team tryouts will take place immediately preceding the USA Hockey Sled Hockey Player Development Camp, July 13-14 in Amherst, N.Y. The tryouts are open to all disabled sled players 15 years of age or older. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeff Sauer and Gregg Marinari will serve as the head coaches of USA Hockey’s Sled Hockey Player Development Camp while Lee Costley and David Hoff will serve as assistant coaches. J.J. O’Connor, chair of USA Hockey’s Disabled Section, will serve as the camp director … Adding to the camp’s staff will be former and current Paralympians Mike Blabac (Hamburg, N.Y.), Steve Cash (Overland, MO), Adam Page (Buffalo, NY), Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.J.), Rico Roman (Windcrest, TX), and Josh Sweeney (Green Brook, N.J.). Additional Staff members include equipment specialists Ron Robichaud and Bill Sandburg, Mike Vaccaro (transportation), Team Leaders Antonia Gillen, Laurie Kennedy and Renee Loftspring and camp physician Dr. Laura Dunne. Jeremy Kennedy from the USA Hockey staff will also work the camp in addition to Jim Smith, chair of the USA Hockey Player Development Committee.
Athletes for the camp are chosen by the Player Development Committee from recommendations of sled hockey coaches nationwide.