GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins and Grand Rapids Sled Wings will face off in their 12th annual sled hockey game presented by Meijer on Monday, Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Griff’s IceHouse at Belknap Park (30 Coldbrook NE).
The doors will open at 5 p.m. Prior to the game, fans can try out a sled on the ice for a minimum $1 donation (5-6:15 p.m.) and get free autographs from their favorite Griffins players (5:45-6:15 p.m.). The game will consist of two 20-minute periods with a running clock.
The two sled hockey teams will be comprised of players from both the Griffins and the Sled Wings’ junior team.
Tickets can be purchased at the door for $5 per person or $20 per family, while children 2 and younger are free. All proceeds from the evening will benefit the Sled Wings program and the Griffins Youth Foundation. Click here to check out highlights from last season’s game.
The junior Sled Wings, a talented team of children and teens who have physical disabilities, are sponsored by the Griffins Youth Foundation and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. They became the first junior-level sled hockey team in Michigan upon their founding in 2001, and have gained a national reputation by winning various prestigious tournaments and developing five players for various U.S. National Teams. The Sled Wings captured their first Division A National Championship in April 2015 and finished as national runners-up last season.
The 12th annual sled hockey game is presented by Meijer and is sponsored in part by Centennial Securities, the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, and Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports.
Sled hockey rules are virtually identical to traditional hockey, except participants sit on bladed sleds. Players use shortened hockey sticks with a blade on one end and a pick (similar to a toe-pick on a figure skate) on the other end, which enables them to propel themselves across the ice. As in traditional hockey, checking, penalties and hard shots are all abundant in sled hockey.
Sled hockey made its Paralympics debut in 1994. It originated in Sweden in 1940 and was introduced in the United States in 1989, with the first team based in Minnesota.