Women’s national sledge hockey team visits the UCCUC

By Aaron Jahn

The Women’s National Sledge Hockey Team was in town last weekend to play a couple exhibition games against local club the Essex-Kent Ice Bullets.

The women’s team scored a victory over the Ice Bullets, 7-6, and the players and coaches all enjoyed the chance to face off against each other in the friendly confines of the UCCUC.

“Amherstburg came to us to see if we could play here,” said National Team coach Keith Metzgur.  “We had a training camp here last spring, the community and staff here treated us great, we love the facility and the management and staff go

Team Canada Women's Team members faced off against the Essex-Kent Ice Bullets in exhibition action Saturday. The women's team won by a score of 7 - 6.

above and beyond for us.”

The National Team only gets to play together three or four times a year, as the players and coaching staff pay for travel and lodging out of their own pockets, a marked difference from the men’s sledge hockey team.

“The players pay for their own lodging, their ice time, everything,” said Metzgur.

Team Captain Andrea Gregnier, from Windsor, was thrilled to be back in Amherstburg to play with her teammates.

“It’s awesome to get together and I got to play against my home team too,” said Gregnier.  “I love to play against the guys, the game is just so much more aggressive.  Plus I get to tease them about being beat by a bunch of girls.”

Gregnier also raved not only about the facility, the only one they play at that has the see-thru plastic boards and the proper material to lay down for them to get off and on the ice with ease.

“They did it right, when they started building the facility, they had Ray Grassi (men’s sledge hockey captain) come in and help with the design,” said Gregnier.  “And the staff here is amazing in how they treat us.”

First year team member Thea Hill from Surrey B.C. was visiting the area for the first time and was happy with not only the facility, but seeing how she fit in on the National Team.

“I’ve only been playing for three years, so this is a great opportunity to see how I stack up against the other girls,” said Hill.  “I really like how they put the plastic down for us so we can use the bench, I’m very impressed with this arena.”

Hill though was also frustrated with the lack of funding for women’s sledge hockey.

“It’s very frustrating that the guys on our team  who were invited to team Canada have their trip paid for,” said Hill.  “I would like to help get more funding for our sport.”

 

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