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Back in the game

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It may not be Bruins against Canadiens. but when you put a team from Vermont and Montreal together on the ice, things tend to get a little physical.

"I didn't understand all of the French words he was saying but they weren't all nice," Sledcats founder Patrick Standen said. "It's physical and we keep it on the ice but it's definitely hockey.

"It's a little bit physical, Sledcats forward Jake Lavigne said. "There's some pushing and shoving but it's a great thing and you definitely feel that."

In partnership with the Northeast Disabled Athletic Association (NDAA),  the hometown Vermont Sledcats hosted the Montreal Rollers in a sled hockey weekend series at Cairns Arena. The goal was to help build awareness for the upcoming Paralympics while also encouraging new talent to suit up.

"The growth of this sport in Vermont has been spectacular," Eric Gissendanner said. "It's not just in Chittenden County but the entire state."

Not only do athletes have to learn how to use a sled but also a modified stick, which features a blade on one side and a pick on the other.

"The sleds are improving, the equipment is improving, people are becoming more aware and that's what we need," Montreal Rollers goalie Allan Kerr said. "We want people to get involved, it's a great sport."

"It makes me feel like an athlete again," Lavigne said. "Just because I'm in this chair doesn't mean I can't go out and compete with my friends; it feels good."

"It feels good to exhale after a long game, it feels right," Montreal Rollers forward Jacques Fournrer said.

And what felt even better for the visitors, was a pair of road wins over their Vermont rivals, along with some bragging rights.

"We're going to win, we're going to win," Montreal Rollers defenseman Patrick Bedard said.

In South Burlington Dylan Scott Channel 3 Spotlight on Sports.  

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