CALGARY — Canada’s sledge hockey team scrambled to replace equipment lost in a terrifying crash on the Trans-Canada Highway and manager Adam Crockatt is confident the squad will have what it needs for the upcoming world championship.
“We are going to be able to replace everything,” Crockatt said Friday. “We’ll get it done.”
Four people miraculously survived the crash that occurred when a tractor-trailer rear-ended another stopped at a red light east of Winnipeg early Thursday morning. The sledge team’s equipment was in one trailer consumed by fire.
“Apparently it was really bad,” Crockatt said. “The most important thing is the drivers and the passengers in the vehicles are fine.
“Everything else is kind of small in comparison to that.”
The sledge team lost its game jerseys, skate sharpener, glove dryer, power tools, spare parts for sleds and two hand bikes, which players use for warm-ups, in the collision.
Nike has replaced the jerseys and to the team’s relief, the players’ sleds were not in the truck. The sleds are custom built to each athlete.
“That would have been a lot harder to replace,” Crockatt said.
The equipment was en route to Calgary to be sorted and prepared for shipping to the Czech Republic early next week. Transporting it to Europe has been delayed five days.
Crockatt didn’t have an financial estimate of the loss, but Hockey Canada is insured for it.
Canada has a training camp scheduled May 1-5 in Prague and begins defence of its world title May 9 in Ostrava against host Czech Republic.
Crockatt has been manager of the sledge team for three years and was never in this situation before.
“Replace an entire team’s equipment? No,” he said. “There’s been situations in the past where some equipment has gotten lost, but it ends up getting tracked down.”
The Canadian players were contacted to inform them of the situation and to tell them not to worry, he said.
“All they have to worry about is playing hockey,” Crockatt said.