With the 11th Annual USA Hockey Disabled Festival scheduled to get underway later today in Buffalo, New York, San Diego Ducks Sled Hockey is prepared to compete for the first time in a sledge hockey tournament following a practice last night. USA Hockey Disabled Festival is the world’s largest sledge hockey event, with 65 teams scheduled to participate this weekend. The team learned they would be competing in the tournament six-weeks ago, and have focused their training since then on preparing for it.
The Ducks are in the Adult Sled Liberty “C” Bracket, along with the Buffalo Warriors, Colorado Avalanche, and SC Hurricanes. Their first game is on Friday against the Avalanche at 10:40 AM local time. Their second game is Friday at 5:30 PM against Buffalo. On Saturday, they meet the Hurricanes at 6:40 PM. The consolidation final and final take place on Sunday at 11:30 AM on different rinks.
The team’s kit for the tournament arrived earlier this month and included Warrior warm-up jackets and pants, performance polos, performance sweatshirts, performance quarter zip jackets, performance shorts, and performance t-shirts.
The San Diego squad includes Joe Chavez and Karina Mendoza. When no on the ice, Chavez serves as the goalkeeper for the United States men’s national 7-a-side football team. The team was founded a few years by Sarah Bettencourt, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who has a rare neurological disorder that forced her into retirement in 2012. The team practices twice a week, on Thursday at 5:45 PM and Sundays at 4:30 AM, at the UTC mall ice rink on La Jolla Village Dr. in San Diego.