COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Florida Panthers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Arizona Coyotes and Buffalo Sabres each earned titles on Sunday (Nov. 22) at the sixth annual USA Hockey Sled Classic, presented by the NHL.
The four-day event that commenced last Thursday (Nov. 19) was hosted by the Florida Panthers and staged at the Florida Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs, Florida. The field included a record 20 teams, each affiliated with an NHL club.
In the Tier I championship game, the Florida Panthers edged the Colorado Avalanche, 4-3, while the Columbus Blue Jackets blanked the Minnesota Wild, 7-0, to claim the Tier II crown. In the Tier III Division, the Arizona Coyotes defeated the Colorado Avalanche, 5-0, while the Buffalo Sabres shut out the Nashville Predators, 2-0, for the Tier IV title.
Other NHL clubs that sponsored teams included the Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues. Each sled hockey team represented its affiliated NHL club by wearing official NHL licensed jerseys with local club marks and logos.
NOTES: The event is part of the fifth annual Come Play Hockey Month, a joint effort between USA Hockey and the NHL ... Five NHL clubs – the Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins – represented two separate teams in this year's USA Hockey Sled Classic ... The Colorado Avalanche hosted the inaugural USA Hockey Sled Classic in 2010 in Denver, where the Colorado Avalanche Sled Hockey Team won the four-team tournament … In 2011, the Philadelphia Flyers held the event in Voorhees, New Jersey, where the Buffalo Sabres Sled Hockey Team took first place among nine teams … In 2012, the Buffalo Sabres put on the tournament in Williamsville, New York, with the Dallas Stars winning the ‘A’ Division and the Washington Capitals capturing the ‘B’ Division … In 2013, the Pittsburgh Penguins hosted the tournament in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the Dallas Stars and Washington Capitals repeated as the ‘A’ and B’ Division champions, while the Nashville Predators won the inaugural ‘C’ Division … A year ago, the Washington Capitals hosted the tournament in Arlington, Virginia, where the Chicago Blackhawks captured the Tier I Division, the Philadelphia Flyers claimed the Tier II Division, and the Minnesota Wild won the Tier III division ... For more information on the sport of sled hockey, click here.