Andy Potts Andy Potts
exclusive for khl.ru
The start of summer brings one of the most prestigious international sledge hockey tournaments to Sochi – the Continental Cup, organized by Russia’s Paralympic Committee, the Kontinental Hockey League and the Russian Federation of Sports for Persons with Physical Impairment. Fans can follow the tournament on the KHL’s official website.

Four teams are competing for the Continental Cup: two Russian teams are joined by their counterparts from Slovakia and Germany. They will meet in a round-robin tournament at the Iceberg Arena in Sochi’s Olympic Park, the home of the figure skating and short-track events at the 2014 Games. The competition runs from June 1-4.

Tournament schedule

Date

Teams

Time

31.05, Friday

Practice day

 

01.06, Saturday

Russia 2 – Slovakia

Russia 1 - Germany

13:00

17:00

02.03, Sunday

Germany – Slovakia

Russia 1 – Russia 2

13:00

17:00

03.06, Monday

Practice day

 

04.06, Tuesday

Germany – Russia 2

Russia 1 - Slovakia

15:00

19:00

 

On April 25, during a press conference about the launch of the tournament, the event’s official charter was signed. The signatories were Vladimir Lukin, President of the Russian Paralympic Committee, Georgy Kobylyansky, KHL Vice-President of Hockey Operations, and Andrei Strokin, President of the Russian Federation of Sports for Persons with Physical Impairment.

Russia’s sledge hockey teams have been unable to compete in international events since 2016, making the Sochi tournament an important part of the country’s preparations for the 2019 World Championship in November. It’s also a key part of the long-term development of a team for the XII Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing in 2022. The involvement of the KHL ensures that the tournament will meet the highest organizational standards, as seen at the KHL’s own events.

Sledge hockey is rightly regarded as one of the most spectacular events in the winter Paralympic program. The game has won many fans thanks to the drama and excitement that unfolds on the ice.

Sledge Hockey arrived in Russia in the late 2000s with the formation of the country’s first team in Izhevsk in 2008. It wasn’t long before the new game spread to Moscow, Moscow Region, Orenburg and Khanty-Mansiysk. December 6, 2009, saw the start of the first national championship and is regarded as the ‘birthday’ of Russian sledge hockey. That first tournament was won by Phoenix, from Moscow Region, and those players went on to form the foundations of the first Russian national team. Russia quickly moved from international rookie to Paralympic contender. By 2014 in Sochi, the Russian team was good enough to reach the final before losing a hard-fought battle against the USA (0-1) and collecting silver medals.

This is the second edition of the Continental Cup. The first one took place in January 2017 as part of the KHL’s Week of Hockey Stars in Ufa. Phoenix was, once again, the winner.

Russia’s teams for 2019 feature several experienced players who featured in the 2014 Paralympic roster, as well as a new generation of talented youngsters. Slovakia and Germany are among the most experienced teams in Europe and have regularly competed in Group B of the World Championship.

The Continental Cup winners will be presented with medals, specially commissioned from the ‘Art Stone’ jeweller. The medals are 7.5cm in diameter, 3.5mm thick and weigh about 90g. They are made of brass and have coatings of gold, nickel or bronze, as well as black and transparent ceramic details.

The winning team will receive the Continental Cup itself. The full-size version is 50 cm tall, and the team will also be presented with a half-size version to keep in its trophy cabinet.

Georgy Kobylyansky, KHL Vice-President of Hockey Operations:

Working with the biggest clubs in Eurasia, we understand very well how difficult it is to reach the top in our sport. Thus, we have sincere admiration and respect for the great work done by these stars of sledge hockey, many of whom come to the Continental Cup as part of their national teams. Regardless of the results on the ice, all the participants of this tournament are winners. These are people who set everyone an example with their strength of spirit, willpower and perseverance in achieving their goals. These are people with limitless potential.

Vladimir Lukin, President, Russian Paralympic Committee:

This year, Russia’s sledge hockey players can look forward to a serious battle for honors against two strong teams from Germany and Slovakia. Our guests can rightly be called worthy opponents, repeatedly demonstrating the highest standards in major international tournaments. All the competitors at the Continental Cup are united by one thing: the will to win, the character of champions. Of course, the tournament will be remembered for spectacular action on the ice while, off it, the event will contribute to the sharing of sporting experience and the development of physical abilities.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
exclusive for khl.ru

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