Phoenix Coyotes Win National Title
Sled Hockey Team Sweeps the Competition in Florida
By Michele Crane
Photo by Christopher DiVirgilio
This year, the team increased their roster with 4 new players, most of whom attended a Wounded Warrior ice clinic hosted by the PVA and Phoenix Coyotes Sled Hockey team. The three new players – Richard Alcaraz, Lidia Lopez Johnson and Jeremy Wagner – all military veterans, played a role in securing the team’s Championship title.
The team took on the Colorado Avalanche, Chicago Blackhawks and San Diego Ducks in the Sled Classic games, sweeping all, including the Championship win, with goalie Matt Giacobbe, winning by a shut out of 5-0 against the Colorado Avalanche. The top three players of the Tier III division were all Phoenix Coyotes Sled Hockey players; Paul Crane led the Tier III division with 13 total points, followed by Joe Hamilton with 9 points and Richard Alcaraz with 7 points.
“The Coyotes have shown that our disabilities will not define us.”
With the assistance of the team sponsors, including Ability360, Phoenix Coyotes Alumni, USA Hockey, Arizona PVA, and Casino Del Sol, the team has been able to reinstate the Western Sled Hockey League and make this year the biggest year yet with a total of 8 tournaments for the 2015-16 season. The team is scheduled to host a mini tournament at the Alltel Ice Den with the USA Women’s team January 10-21. The team will also host its own tournament at the Alltel Ice Den February 19-21. The Coyotes tournament will include the Western Sled Hockey League teams: Colorado Avalanche; Los Angeles Kings and the San Diego Ducks.
Along with all of the team’s on-ice success, there also came off-ice success. Most recently, the team met with City of Phoenix Mayor, Greg Stanton, and received a Proclamation: declaring December 3rd as International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Mayor Stanton presented the team with the Proclamation and congratulated them on their championship win. He also praised the team for being an inspiration to the community and for exemplifying camaraderie and teamwork.
For more information on the Phoenix Coyotes Sled Hockey team, please visit their Coyotes Sled Hockey Facebook page.