North America’s elite PowerHockeyTM (www.powerhockey.com) teams are coming to Minnesota to compete for the most sought after PowerHockeyTM championship. The PowerHockeyTM Cup 2008, presented by Otto Bock, will take place at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN, USA. Opening Ceremonies will be in the evening on August 8th. Rounds 1-3 will be held Saturday (9th) through Monday (11th) with the first game at 10:30am and final game of the day at 8:00 p.m. The Playoff round will begin Tuesday August 12th at 10:30 a.m., with the Championship game beginning at 7:30 p.m. Seven teams from the U.S. and Canada will vie for the title of PowerHockeyTM Cup champion.
Games will be broadcast online exclusively at www.xAble.com. The 3rd place and Championship games will also be broadcast by North Metro TV 15. Copies of the 3rd place and Championship games will be available for purchase on DVD.
The Calgary Selects, having claimed the title in Calgary in 2006, look to repeat as champions. They’ll get stiff competition from what is the most talented group of teams yet to vie for the PowerHockeyTM Cup. Teams include the Manitoba Moose (making its PowerHockeyTM Cup debut), Michigan Mustangs, Minnesota Stars (2004 PowerHockeyTM Cup winners), Minnesota Saints, Toronto Lake Raiders (making its PowerHockeyTM Cup debut), and Toronto Rock (2001 PowerHockeyTM World Cup champions). The Toronto Lake Raiders of the newly formed Toronto PWHL aims to make an immediate push for the title, while the Toronto Rock will be angling to re-establish its dominance. The Minnesota Stars will be looking to improve on its 2nd place finish in 2006, and continue its grudge match against the ever-improving Minnesota Saints. The Michigan Mustangs, with some new players, may prove to be the surprise team in the tournament.
The Minnesota Stars were formed in 1993, and were the first power wheelchair-only hockey team in the United States. The Stars were also the first PowerHockey team from North America to participate in a European tournament. That tournament took place in Erlangen, Germany in 1993, and was the team’s first opportunity to play in a power-wheelchair hockey tournament.
In 1995, the Stars made its first appearance as an exhibition team at the Canadian Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association’s (CEWHA) national tournament, which was held in Toronto. The Stars continued to appear as an exhibition team at CEWHA nationals in Calgary (1996), London (1998), and Toronto (2000). In 2001, the Stars took 4th place, out 11 teams, in the first PowerHockey Cup, which was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Stars won the 2004 PowerHockey Cup, and finished 2nd at the 2006 PowerHockey Cup in Calgary. The Minnesota Stars 2008 roster includes: Wayne Baier (Crystal), Jacob Holmquist(Corcoran), Jeremy James (Minneapolis), Chris Kram (Cambridge), Craig McClellan (New Hope), Steve Onsum (Brooklyn Park), Luke Pedersen (Minneapolis), Josh Wimmergren (Maple Grove), and Matt Wimmergren (Maple Grove). The Minnesota Stars are coached by Dan Enna (Crystal) and Brian Kram (Cambridge).
The Minnesota Saints made their PowerHockey debut in the PowerHockey World Cup 2001 in Minneapolis and finished in 9th place. They competed again in the PowerHockey Cup 2004 in Minneapolis where they finished in 3rd place. In 2006, they finished in 4th place in the PowerHockey Cup in Calgary. The Minnesota Saints 2008 roster includes Cindy Condon (Minneapolis), Angie Folie (Minneapolis), Gordy Foster (Woodbury), Sarah Heinsch (New Hope), Dan Hugley (St. Paul), Joe Hugley (St. Paul), Dave Kaup (St. Paul), Jen Onsum (Brooklyn Park), Josh Twite (Chatfield) and Chad Wilson (Chaska). The Minnesota Saints are coached by Josh Holler (Minneapolis) and Brian Little (Corcoran).
The event is being hosted by the Minnesota-based U.S. Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association (U.S. EWHA), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a quality hockey program for persons requiring the use of an electric (power) wheelchair during daily life. The 2008 PowerHockey Cup also marks the third official event (Minneapolis, 2004; Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 2006) of the North American PowerHockey Association (NAPHA), a joint venture of the U.S. EWHA and Canadian Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association (CEWHA).
For more information on the event, check out http://cup2008.powerhockey.com