Rep­re­sent­ing the prov­ince

Cape Bre­ton sledge hockey play­ers to play in na­tional tour­na­ment with Team Nova Sco­tia

Cape Breton Post - - Sports - BY JEREMY FRASER jeremy.fraser@cb­post.com

When Team Nova Sco­tia hits the ice for the first time ever at the Cana­dian sledge hockey na­tional cham­pi­onships in Que­bec next week, the team will have a Cape Bre­ton feel to it.

Five lo­cal sledge hockey play­ers from the is­land will rep­re­sent the prov­ince on this year’s team, in­clud­ing Kurtis De­veaux of Glace Bay, Cory MacKin­non of Do­min­ion, Thomas Odo of New Water­ford, as well as Sam Mee­han and Jen­nifer Pearcey, both of New Camp­bell­ton.

The five play­ers each play with the Cape Bre­ton Sledge­ham­mers sledge hockey team, which was formed by De­veaux and his fa­ther, Steve, in 2009.

De­veaux, 28, was proud to be named to the pro­vin­cial team.

“I think any­one who plays a sport has dreams of reach­ing as high a level as pos­si­ble,” said De­veaux. “With this only be­ing the sec­ond year of this tour­na­ment, I can’t say I re­ally con­sid­ered the pos­si­bil­ity of ever com­pet­ing at some­thing of this cal­iber, but now that I know it ex­ists, it’s def­i­nitely some­thing I’m ex­tremely ex­cited about.”

“Get­ting to put on that jersey will be amaz­ing,” he said. “I hope we can show the rest of the coun­try how well we play this sport on the East Coast.”

The tour­na­ment will run May 12-14 in Boucherville, P.Q., fea­tur­ing teams from Al­berta, Bri­tish Columbia, Man­i­toba, Nova Sco­tia, On­tario and Que­bec.

The event was first hosted last year in Le­duc, Al­berta., but Team Nova Sco­tia didn’t par­tic­i­pate, mak­ing this year’s tour­na­ment spe­cial for those play­ing on the Nova Sco­tia team.

Odo, a for­ward for the team, has high hopes for the club.

“I think it’s safe to say the

goal is to go there and win it all,” said the 18-year-old. “We’re go­ing to go out each game and play hard. I think we’re a gritty team with a lot of heart and skill.”

Team Nova Sco­tia will open the tour­na­ment on Fri­day at 2 p.m. against Team Bri­tish Columbia. Later in the day, the Nova Sco­tians will play Team On­tario at 7 p.m. The re­main­der of the sched­ule will be de­ter­mined on re­sults from Fri­day’s ac­tion, how­ever Team Nova Sco­tia is guar­an­teed four games.

De­veaux un­der­stands the team will be up against strong com­pe­ti­tion at the tour­na­ment.

“On pa­per we have what looks like a good team. We’ll see how we come to­gether as a team,” said De­veaux. “Hope­fully we’ll make some noise, but if we don’t that’s OK too. It will give us an idea of what we have to work on for next year.”

Re­gard­less of the re­sult, Odo said he’s priv­i­leged to be able to play on the pro­vin­cial team with his fel­low Cape Bre­ton­ers.

“I’m lucky to have had the chance to play with them for years at home,” he said. “They are all great team­mates and I’m glad we get to share this ex­pe­ri­ence to­gether and are look­ing for­ward to this amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on the tour­na­ment visit the web­site www.hock­ey­luge.ca or Face­book by searching Cana­dian Sledge Hockey Cham­pi­onships Que­bec 2017.

DAVID JALA/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Kurtis Desveaux of the Cape Bre­ton Sledge­ham­mers sledge hockey team watches the play dur­ing game ac­tion at the Canada Games Com­plex in Syd­ney in this file photo from April. Desveaux is one of five play­ers from Cape Bre­ton rep­re­sent­ing Team Nova Sco­tia at the Cana­dian Sledge Hockey Cham­pi­onships next week in Boucherville, Que.

Odo

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