If you think 10 burly men on ice skates crashing the net in an NHL game is intense, imagine 10 players all elbowing each other and thrashing at the puck with one hand while operating bulky electric wheelchairs with the other. That's what powerhockey, an adapted version of the sport for athletes who use electric wheelchairs, tends to look like, only with a whiffle ball rather than a puck. Usually played on a basketball court, powerhockey functions in much the same way as ice hockey. The game has most of the same penalties, riding (the powerhockey equivalent of checking), and similar overtime rules to the NHL. Also as in ice hockey, Minnesota and Canada are perennial powerhouses. The Minnesota Stars were the first organized powerhockey team in the U.S., and in 1993 they became the first team to represent North America in European play. The Stars also have an ax to grind in this year's Powerhockey Cup, a joint competition of Canadian and American powerhockey leagues. At the last cup, in 2006, the Stars fell 4-2 in the championship game against the Calgary Selects, who will return this year to defend their title. They'll have plenty of stiff competition from teams from Michigan, Toronto, and Manitoba.
Aug. 9-11, 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Tue., Aug. 12, 10:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m., 2008