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Ottawa home to 1st sledge hockey wedding

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Alain and Hazel Bazinet, along with Team Canada sledge hockey player Marc Dorion, at their Sept. 21 wedding at the Canadian International Hockey Academy in Rockland. Photo provided

By Leah Larocque

Not very many couples can say that they got to get married on their very own “rink of dreams.” And no one besides one recently-married Ottawa couple can boast that they were part of the very first sledge hockey wedding ceremony in Canadian history.

On Saturday, Sept. 21, Alain and Hazel Bazinet exchanged vows on centre ice at the Canadian International Hockey Academy in Rockland in front of family, friends and many players from provincial and national teams, as well as the Sledge Hockey of Eastern Ontario league.

“We kind of threw out crazy ideas because we didn’t want the normal backyard wedding or golf course,” explains 27-year-old Ottawa Sledgehammers player Alain, the captain of Team Ontario who’s played for the national development team. “Because I play sledge hockey and travel and play so much, I threw out the idea of having it at the rink and involving the team.

“Hazel was very supportive – as long she could come out on the Zamboni.”

Although Hazel does not play sledge hockey, and does not have a disability, she has spent many hours at the rink and felt it was important to incorporate the game into their wedding.

“Alain is just so passionate about the sport and we wanted our wedding day to capture who we are as a couple and this meant so much for us,” highlights the 39-year-old. “I have always said that Alain’s parents are his #1 fan, and I am his #2.”

The big day also doubled as the baptism ceremony for the Bazinets’ 12-month-old daughter, Victoria.

It was a special day all-around for the tight-knit sledge group, notes SHEO president Serge Lavoie.

“Participating in Alain’s wedding was like being at a brother’s or son’s wedding for SHEO members,” Lavoie says.

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