Elgin Imperials dominate sledge hockey event going undefeated
capped with a 4-0 shutout of Kawartha in the final
February 5, 2023
By Rob J. Ross
WHITBY, Ont. - Their golden ride continues.
The Elgin Imperials have certainly put their stamp on being one of the top sledge hockey teams in the province.
Elgin completed an undefeated run at the Ontario Parasport Games, winning the sledge hockey gold game, 4-0, over Kawartha Blazers, February 5 at the Iroquois Park Sports Centre.
Ryan Whittle scored twice and Wes Shaw and Bryan Lidster, had a goal each, while goalie John Stevenson picked up the shutout.
"Definitely a big win for our Elgin team," Shaw said. "It was a amazing experience."
The Imperials went 5-0, winning pool games, 5-0, 4-1, 3-1 and 3-0.
"We gelled as a team. We worked well with each other and were able to read the ice and make the plays when it counted," Shaw said. "Every player on the ice was an integral part of every win. To be honest, practices have been a big key to why we are on this hot streak right now."
In January, Elgin won gold in the Open C division at the London Blizzard tournament and the Imperials are the 2022 provincial Open A champions.
The Imperials scored 19 goals in five games without their top scorer from the London tournament, Travis Topping, who was winning a silver medal in wheelchair basketball.
In his absence players such as Tyler Zinn stepped up in to the scorer's role.
"I also would like to give the player of the tournament for Elgin to Tyler Zinn, who had three goals and two assists," Shaw said. "Every since he got his first sledge goal (at London), getting that first goal off his mind, made him extra motivated in games."
Shaw recalls Zinn telling Topping, "I got your back buddy. I'll score while you are playing basketball.' His determination to be a team player shone through."
Elgin returns to their Ontario Sledge Hockey Association schedule visiting Sarnia, February 11, before hosting the Buffalo Sabres February 19th at 11 a.m. at the East Elgin Community Centre, in Aylmer.
Topping brought home a silver with the Ontario Juniors, losing to the Misfits in the wheelchair basketball gold game.
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