Last year, Karina participated in a sled hockey demo and clinic at the LATAM Cup. Afterwards, she met and talked with a player from Argentina. As a result of watching the game and chatting with Karina, he wanted to start a sled program in his country. He returned to Argentina with a set of Karina’s sticks and a sled from Coach Ron Robichaud. Recently, he sent a video of players trying sled hockey in Argentina. Previously, she travelled to Puerto Rico with Coach Ron and the Sled Bandits. Karina’s dream of bringing sled hockey to Latin America is starting to come true!
Florida Sled Hockey “Grow the Game Tour” in Puerto Rico: Greg Shaw – 2x Paralympic Sled Hockey Gold Medalist, Monica Quimby – USA Women’s Developmental Sled Hockey Team, Carlos Mendez – Aguadilla, Puerto Rico Mayor and Karina Villegas – USA Women’s Developmental Sled Hockey Team
Check out thisTweet from USA Sled Hockey player Josh Pauls:
We are so lucky to have Karina as a member of our Space Coast Sled Hockey family. We can’t wait to see what she accomplishes next!! Check out our schedule to watch Karina and the team play this season.
The Space Coast Blast Sled Hockey team, reigning USA Under 18 National Champions, added U-18 World Champions to their already impressive resume. The Blast participated in the 1st ever Youth International Sled Hockey Invitational from Oct 30-Nov. 3, along with previous USA champions the Hope Inc. Hurricanes from Fargo, ND, the Grand Rapids Sled Wings from Michigan and a National All Star Team from Russia.
Yes you read that correctly, a sled hockey team from warm, sunny Florida defeated a National All Star Team from Russia in the championship.
Over the weekend tournament in Grand Rapids, MI, the Space
Coast Blast finished with an overall record of 3-1. Their only loss was in the
first game of the tournament to Russia 2-1. Game two was a come from behind 4-2
victory over rival the Hope Inc. Hurricanes from Minnesota and Fargo, North
Dakota. A 6-0 victory over the Grand Rapids Sled Wings in game three guaranteed
the Blast a rematch with Russia in the championship.
In the championship, the Big 5 starting line-up of Brett Bolton, Nick Witkowski, Jayden Debiram, Tony Martinez and Tripp Skinner sparked the team and stunned the Russians with a goal by Bolton in the first 46 seconds of play.
The second goal scored by Captain Skinner in the 3rd secured the win.
Blast goalie Sean Gallagher played outstanding in net keeping the Russians off the scoreboard, his second shutout of the tournament. S. Gallagher was backed by solid defense from Witkowski, Martinez and Skinner. Forwards Jayden Debiram, Madeleine Gallagher, Logan Eising and pusher Sophie Szymula and Sebastian Hardcastle kept the pressure on the Russian goalie and defense all game. Head Coach Lee Skinner was supported by Assistant Coaches Amanda Martori and Liam Fitzgerald and a large group of parents and friends in the stands and back home in Florida.
In addition to completive sled hockey games, the teams
participated in joint practices, fun activities and meals together. Our players
broke the ice on the first night and used Google Translate to talk with and learn
about their Russian competitors. After that all four teams enjoyed learning
about different cultures and meeting other top youth sled hockey players from
around the USA and Russia.
USA Hockey announced their 2019-20 roster for the USA Women’s Development Sled Hockey Team following their tryouts in July. Space Coast Sled Hockey player Karina Villegas was named to the team for the 3rd Consecutive season.
60 sled hockey players from across the country were invited to USA Sled Hockey Player Development Camp in July. During the camp, players participated in on-ice practices, classroom sessions and games, and were coached by Paralympic gold medalists and USA National team coaches.
Brett Bolton, Beau Corbett, Sean Gallagher, Tony Martinez and Nick Witkowski represented the Space Coast Blast and were joined by Dan Robbins and Kasey Yates for a total of 7 players from Florida.
Beau was a member of Team White and beat Tony and Team Gold in the camp championship game.
Florida and Space Coast Blast were also well represented at USA Sled National and Development Team tryouts with the D Camp crew and Tripp Skinner.