The Brant County Crushers will be in tough to defend their Ontario Sledge Hockey Association championship this season.
But it’s not because the team is any less skilled.
A reorganization of the sledge hockey league will see the Crushers elevated to the Intermediate B division of the OSHA.
“I don’t know if we are ready for it,” goaltender Jessie Gregory said. “We’ll have to see how well we do once we start gelling as a team.”
The Crushers won the Intermediate C division championship last season on home ice at the Brant Sports Complex. Gregory said winning the title isn’t the only reason the team was promoted to the B division. Other restructuring of the league also played a role.
The Crushers will play in a division that includes the Niagara Thunderblades, Kingston Knights and London Blizzard.
The eight-game sledge hockey season kicks off this Saturday when the Crushers welcome the Thunderblades to the Brant Sports Complex for an 11:30 a.m. game.
The Crushers host the Knights on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 11:30 a.m. and then have a rematch of last year’s C division championship against the Northumberland Predators on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 11:30 a.m.
Gregory said the team is still skilled and able to compete, but thinks it may need some time to adjust to stiffer competition.
“We didn’t start last season off too well,” Gregory said. “But once we started playing well as a team we started to win and eventually won the championship. We just need time to start playing together as a team again.”