WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Lightning sled hockey team will be among 30 NHL-affiliated clubs this weekend at the 13th annual USA Hockey Sled Classic at the AdventHealth Center Ice complex. The Lightning are hosting the event.
The Lightning’s entry includes Lakewood Ranch resident Monica Quimby, a member of the U.S. Women’s Development Sled Hockey Team and 2023 Women’s World Challenge Champion.
Tampa Bay’s first game is Friday morning (10:00) against Pittsburgh.
“We don’t want to host the event to just be a host,” said Gloria Smith, who has been managing the Tampa Bay team since 2019 and whose husband, Sam, is a member. Both are Marine Corps veterans. “We want to grow the game and bring more attention to it, especially in the local area. Some people who are involved with hockey do not know about sled hockey.”
Fans attending will be able to get a close look at NHL trophies on display. There will also be a silent auction featuring many items donated from NHL teams. Funds from the auction will benefit Tampa Bay’s sled hockey program.
The Lightning, who established the sled team in 2015, will conduct a Try Sled Hockey event on Saturday afternoon beginning at 1:30. The idea is to bring awareness to the game and offer opportunities to participate in the sport.
“We have been working with different organizations around the area to try to grow the game,” said Smith. “It’s been amazing to see the growth and it just continues to grow.”
Among the Tampa Bay area natives competing in the event is Berkeley Prep product Declan Farmer.
Farmer, no stranger to the rinks in Wesley Chapel, is a three-time Paralympic gold medalist living in Denver. He is a member of the Colorado team.
To learn more, visit: https://www.usahockey.com/sledclassic
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