Rochester Mustangs sled hockey club hosts open skate day, receiv - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Rochester Mustangs sled hockey club hosts open skate day, receives $25,000 grant


The Rochester Mustangs are at the forefront of the Med City's sled hockey scene and on Sunday, they invited others to join in the fun to help celebrate a $25,000 grant the club received.

"It's kind of a sled hockey jamboree, so to speak," said Mustangs coach Bob Ellinghysen. "We're trying to get new people involved in sled hockey."

While the experienced sled hockey players scrimmaged and skated on the far side of the rink, the new generation of sledders were able to give it a try on the other side of the Graham Arena ice. For some people, skating on a sled was harder than it looked, Ellinghysen says the game is more about desire than skill.

"These guys just want to play for the sake of playing," said Ellinghysen. "We're all rink rats, they just have a little different mode of transportation."

The Mustang players all have disabilities that limit their movement, such as Nick Elliott, who lost his legs in a construction accident. He says he was inspired by just how many people came out to see what sled hockey was all about.

"All the other practices we've only had a few parents," said Elliot. "It's really nice to see the turnout in the community."

The turnout showed that hockey culture runs strong in Rochester, whether you're standing or on a sled. Above all, the players are grateful for how sled hockey has given people with disabilities a new way to stay competitive.

"We might not be as active as we want, so every week we come out here, get a little exercise and have fun," said Elliott.

The grant will go towards new equipment, uniforms, and ice time.

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