Canada’s National Para Hockey Team is headed to Paradise, N.L., this December to welcome the world to the 2019 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup.
The event, which was re-branded from the World Sledge Hockey Challenge in 2018, will feature the world’s top para hockey teams vying for gold at the Paradise Double Ice Complex.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Hockey Canada to return to Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Scott Smith, president and chief operating officer of Hockey Canada. “This tournament showcases the very best in para hockey, and we’ve seen what a positive effect hosting an event of this caliber has on the community.”
The tournament will be a homecoming for Paralympic silver medallist Liam Hickey, who got his start in the game with the Avalon Sled Dogs. The St. John’s native has emerged as an offensive leader for Team Canada, posting 59 points in 37 career games wearing the Maple Leaf, including 11 in five games in PyeongChang last winter.
“The opportunity to play in front of family and friends in Paradise is a dream come true,” said Hickey. “The Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup is a one of the most important events of the season, and to have the chance to put our game on display at home in what is sure to be a world-class event is once-in-a-lifetime. Newfoundland and Labrador is an amazing place, and I’m excited for the world to get to experience it.”
While Newfoundland and Labrador is no stranger to hosting Hockey Canada events, including the 2010 4 Nations Cup, 2011 TELUS Cup and 2015 Allan Cup, this will mark the first time the Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup will be played in the province, and the sixth time it has been played on Atlantic ice, previously being hosted in P.E.I. and Nova Scotia.
“The Town of Paradise is thrilled to be selected to host the 2019 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup,” said Mayor Dan Bobbett. “We look forward to welcoming para hockey players from around the world to our town and to our fully-accessible Paradise Double Ice Complex, and we are excited to give our region the opportunity to enjoy this great tournament.”
As with every Hockey Canada event, Paradise will benefit from hosting the 2019 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup, with the net proceeds benefiting the local minor and para hockey programs. In the past, the Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup has brought an economic impact of more than $1 million to the host community.
“Our province has a proud history of hosting significant hockey events,” said Jack Lee, president of Hockey Newfoundland & Labrador. “We look forward to welcoming the world in December to showcase the sport of para hockey.”