First ever club tournament has Hiboux de Montreal facing-off against visiting Toronto Ice Owls and Vancouver Eclipse Blind Hockey teams
(MONTREAL, QC – May 17) The Canadian Blind Hockey Eastern Regional Tournament is coming to Glenn J. Chamandy Arena at Lower Canada College in Montreal this weekend, running May 19 – 21. The event is free to attend, and will feature some of the best Blind Hockey players on the planet competing in a three team round-robin that will culminate with a gold medal final on Sunday.
The sport of Blind Hockey is played by athletes whose vision ranges from legally blind – approximately 10% vision or less – to completely blind, using an adapted puck that makes noise and is both bigger and slower than a traditional puck.
Blind Hockey has existed in Canada since the 1970’s, however the sport was never organized at a national level until leaders from across Canada organized an exhibition at the 2011 Defi Sportif in Montreal that standardized the rules, determined the official adapted puck, and launched Canadian Blind Hockey as it exists today. Now, six years later, after successfully hosting five consecutive National Championships in Toronto, creating the Eastern and Western Regional Tournaments, and bringing the sport to the United States, Canadian Blind Hockey returns to where it all began.
Usually players register as individuals at Blind Hockey tournaments, and are then drafted into tournament teams based on level of vision, skill, and experience to ensure competitive balance. However, thanks to the tremendous growth in participation in the sport right across North America, for the first time ever this tournament will be contested between clubs representing Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal – with players from other cities who registered as individuals drafted to the two visiting clubs.
The team representing the Toronto Ice Owls will be made up almost exclusively of Ontario based players, while the team representing the Vancouver Eclipse will also include players drafted from Alberta, the Maritimes, and even one player from California. The hometown Hiboux de Montreal will be made up almost exclusively of local players, and will be sure to draw the largest crowds as they try to win gold on home soil.
In addition to the tournament, the event features a Try Blind Hockey session that is open to locals of all ages who are blind or partially sighted and have an interest in trying this rapidly growing parasport. Hopefully some participants taking part in this session will someday join the Hiboux de Montreal and play in an Eastern Regional Tournament, and even have the opportunity to represent Canada in Blind Hockey on the international stage.
The event is made possible by Canadian Blind Hockey presenting partner AMI – Accessible Media Inc., national program partner CNIB – Canadian National Institute for the Blind, as well as a grant from the Daryl K. Seaman Canadian Hockey Fund at the Calgary Foundation. The event is supported by local partners Lower Canada College, the Quebec Foundation for the Blind, the Quebec Blind Sports Association, and the Hiboux de Montreal Blind Hockey Club.
AMI – Accessible Media Inc. presents the
2017 Canadian Blind Hockey Eastern Regional Tournament
Brought to you by CNIB – Canadian National Institute for the Blind
Friday, May 19
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm – Game # 1 – Vancouver Eclipse vs Hiboux de Montreal
Saturday, May 20
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm – Game # 2 – Vancouver Eclipse vs Toronto Ice Owls
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm – Try Skating and Blind Hockey
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm – Game # 3 – Hiboux de Montreal vs Toronto Ice Owls
Sunday, May 21
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm – Gold Medal Game and Medal Ceremony
Glenn J. Chamandy Arena
Lower Canada College
4090 Avenue Royal