Local Adaptive Sled Hockey Team Wins National Tournament

April 16, 2014
Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Bennett Blazers Earn Top Spot at USA Hockey’s National Youth Sled Hockey Championship

BALTIMORE, MD—For the second year in a row, a Baltimore team finished in first place at USA Hockey’s 10th Annual Youth Disabled Hockey Festival in Massachusetts, the largest national hockey event of its kind. The Bennett Blazers team, part of Kennedy Krieger Institute's Physically Challenged Sports Program, defeated the Grand Rapid Wings in the championship game to finish their season with a perfect 21-0 winning record.

Noah Grove, of Frederick, was the high scorer for the festival with a hat trick (three goals scored) in every game. Three other players were among the top ten scorers:  Kyle Cavalier, of Laurel; Sean Thomason, of Alexandria, Va.; and Daniel Romanchuk, of Mount Airy. Goalie Jorge Medrano, of Westminster, had only one goal scored against him over the course of four games.

Other players on the winning team include Ruby Elbert, of Baltimore; Samantha McMinn, of Conowingo; Patrick Brennan, of Catonsville; and Evan Baum, of Bel Air. The teammates range in age from 12 to 17 years.

Sled hockey is played by physically challenged athletes who are unable to play hockey standing up. This exciting game requires full hockey equipment, as USA Hockey rules are utilized. The only difference is that the players propel themselves on specially designed "sleds" equipped with two smaller hockey sticks.

Kennedy Krieger's Physically Challenged Sports Program gives kids with physical disabilities the opportunity to participate in more than a dozen therapeutic, recreational and competitive sports programs, including wheelchair basketball, wheelchair football, sled hockey, archery, swimming, track and field, and ice skating.

About the Kennedy Krieger Institute

Internationally recognized for improving the lives of children and adolescents with disorders and injuries of the brain and spinal cord, the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Md. serves more than 20,000 individuals each year through inpatient and outpatient clinics, home and community services and school-based programs. Kennedy Krieger provides a wide range of services for children with developmental concerns mild to severe, and is home to a team of investigators who are contributing to the understanding of how disorders develop while pioneering new interventions and earlier diagnosis. For more information on Kennedy Krieger Institute, visit www.kennedykrieger.org.

Media Contact:

Jennifer Burke
443-923-7329
burkej@kennedykrieger.org