A pair of Colorado Avalanche squads, along with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Nashville Predators and Carolina Hurricanes, each earned titles on Sunday (Nov. 20) at the seventh annual USA Hockey Sled Classic, presented by the NHL.
The four-day event that commenced last Thursday (Nov. 17) was hosted by the Nashville Predators at the Ford Ice Center in Antioch, Tennessee. The field included a record 24 teams, each affiliated with an NHL club.
The Colorado Avalanche won a pair of division titles by topping the Buffalo Sabres, 6-2, in the Tier I title game and edging the Anaheim Ducks, 4-2, in the Tier III championship game. The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 7-3, to claim the Tier II crown while the Nashville Predators blanked the Boston Bruins, 3-0, in the Tier III championship game. In the first-ever Tier V title game, the Carolina Hurricanes shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-0, for the division title.
Other NHL clubs that sponsored teams included the Arizona Coyotes, Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lightning. Each sled hockey team represented its affiliated NHL club by wearing official NHL licensed jerseys with local club marks and logos.
For full tournament results and statistics, click the button below.
NOTES: The event was part of the fifth annual Come Play Hockey Month, a joint effort between USA Hockey and the NHL ... Five NHL clubs – the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, and Pittsburgh Penguins – had two affiliated teams in this year's USA Hockey Sled Classic while the Nashville Predators had three teams ... 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 … In 2014, 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 ... Last year, the Florida Panthers held the tournament in Sunrise, Florida, where the Florida Panthers captured the Tier I Division, the Columbus Blue Jackets claimed the Tier II crown, the Arizona Coyotes won the Tier III Division and the Buffalo Sabres captured the first-ever Tier IV title. For more information on the sport of sled hockey, click here.
QUESTION: Who determines if a player is injured, the Referee or the injured player's Head Coach or Trainer? Should the Injured player be allowed to remain on the bench or be required to leave the game?
ANSWER: Since almost all game officials are not medical professionals, USA Hockey instructs them to use their best judgment while determining whether a player is injured, and always error on the side of caution. Ultimately, it is the decision of the player and team staff to determine if the player should remain in a game. The best an official can do is make note of any "irregular behavior" and bring this to the coach's attention (and it would be very wise to record and file this incident in a summary email report to the Local Supervisor of Officials).
QUESTION: In the offensive zone, is a player allowed to use his hands while the puck is on the ice to hold it for himself (essentially, he covered the puck with his hand and moved it to himself after he fell)?
ANSWER: Rule 618.a in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,
“Play shall be stopped and a last play face-off shall occur anytime a player (except the goalkeeper) closes his hand on the puck and does not immediately drop the puck to the ice.
A minor penalty for delay of game shall be assessed to any player, other than the goalkeeper, who picks the puck up from the ice with his hand(s) while play is in progress.
A penalty shot/optional minor penalty shall be awarded to the non-offending team anytime a defending player, other than the goalkeeper, picks the puck up off the ice with his hand or holds the puck while play is in progress and the puck is in the goal crease. If this infraction occurs while the goalkeeper has been removed from the ice and prevents and obvious and imminent goal, a goal shall be awarded to the non-offending team.”
The “spirit and intent” of this rule is to keep the puck in play at all times and prevent a player from making the puck “unplayable by an opponent” by covering it.
QUESTION: While in Team A’s defensive zone, a player on Team A blocks a shot by a player on Team B. The puck hits an un-padded part of the body and the player immediately falls to the ice with an obvious injury. The official allows play continue while the injured player lies on the ice unable to move. Team B then gains possession of the deflected puck and proceeds to score a goal. Should the goal be allowed?
ANSWER: Rule 206.a in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,
“When a player is injured or compelled to leave the ice during a game, he may retire from the game and be replaced by a substitute under the player substitution rules.
When a player is injured and is unable to continue play or go to his bench, play shall be stopped immediately unless the opposing team is in possession of the puck, in which case play shall not be stopped until a change of possession has occurred.
In the case where it is obvious that a player has sustained a serious injury, the Referee and/or Linesman may stop the play immediately."
QUESTION: During a game, a team received their third consecutive penalty and the ref made the team play three players short. I always thought during my playing career that the third player (even though in the penalty box at time of penalty) would not start until the oldest penalty expired or a goal was scored.
ANSWER: Rule 408.a in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,
“If a third player shall be penalized while two players of the same team are serving non-coincidental penalties, he shall proceed to the penalty bench immediately and may be replaced by a substitute on the ice. However, the penalty time of the third player shall not begin until the first such penalty has expired.”
QUESTION: Can a team forfeit in the middle of a game? We just played a game today and we were winning 3-0. With five minutes left in the third period, the other team got up off the bench and said they were forfeiting. Our coaches and the refs tried to get them to finish the game, but the coach from the other team said our kids were too big.
ANSWER: Rule 633.a in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,
“With both teams on the ice, after the game has started, a team for any reason refuses to play after being ordered to do so by the Referee, the Referee shall warn the Captain and allow the team 15 seconds to resume play.
A bench minor penalty for delay of game shall be assessed to the offending team who still refuses to start play and if the same team refuses to continue play, the Referee shall suspend the game and assess a match penalty to the responsible Team Official(s).”
The USA Hockey Playing Rules are now available as a mobile device app! Check your Apple, Android, or Windows app store to download this playing rule app free of charge.
Check out the USA Hockey mobile-friendly online rulebook application! Enter usahockeyrulebook.com into your mobile device’s web browser to gain instant access to the USA Hockey Playing Rules (must have mobile or internet service).
The USA Hockey Playing Rules Casebook and other educational material can be found under the OFFICIALS tab at USAHockey.com.