Over the weekend, the Dallas Stars and the Dallas Stars Foundation teamed up with the Southwest Wheelchair Athletic Association. Each year, the SWAA and the Dallas Sled Stars hold a sled hockey charity game to raise awareness and funds for the new season.
This year, current Dallas Stars Antoine Roussel, Dan Hamhuis, and Adam Cracknell along with Stars alumnus Bob Bassen joined the Dallas Sled Stars in a spirited game against the Texas Sled Hockey team.
The Dallas Sled Stars also boast a few stars of their own, with team captain Taylor Lipsett and Tamar Burr. Lipsett is a 3-time Paralympic medalist (two gold and one bronze) and 2-time World Champion in para ice hockey. Lipsett has decided to come out of retirement and has been training for the past 8 months with one goal in mind, to make the 2018 paralympic ice hockey team. Burr is also one of the first women from Texas to be named to the women’s sled hockey team for the 2018 paralympics.
While the final score was 3-1 in favor of the Sled Stars, what was more important was the awareness and funds raised for the disabled hockey community. Before the game, SWAA and the Dallas Sled Stars held a “Try Sled Hockey” event where attendees were encouraged to put on gear and try sled hockey for themselves. Gear and sleds of all shapes and sizes were available to those of all ages and plenty took part, most stating that it took more skill and strength than regular ice hockey.
“It was amazing, a very humbling experience to see how good those guys all are out there and how much effort it takes. The balance those guys have. They’re just incredible athletes,” Adam Cracknell commented when asked about his experience during the sled hockey game. “It was a lot of fun. I stabbed myself in the hand with the stick a few times, but it was a lot of fun. They’re obviously great athletes and it was fun to be apart of.”
For more information on the Dallas Sled Stars, you can find them on twitter and facebook:
For further information about the Southwest Wheelchair Athletic Association, visit www.swaasports.org.