Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, Jul 17, 2010

The 10th annual Special Hockey International Tournament held April 1-April 4 at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel MD was a tremendous success. Nearly 400 athletes with developmental disabilities displayed heart and courage that would rival any Ice Hockey Tournament ever played.

Special Hockey Washington hosted the tournament which was attended by 23 Teams from the United States, Canada and London, England.

The tournament proved to be one of the finest ever in the 10 years since it first began. As well as many exciting hockey games, the tournament featured a Sled Hockey demonstration game, curling exhibition and a Special Hockey coaches game between this years host Washington Ice Dogs and the Crooksville Ont. Crusaders (next year's host team).

In attendance was Jim Smith, treasurer of USA Hockey and J.J. O'Connor, chairperson of the disabled hockey section of USA Hockey. O'Connor said, "It is the purest example of amateur hockey, and it's wonderful to see everyone having fun."

Washington Capital's goaltender, Olie Kolzig, was also on hand to drop the honorary face-off for the game. This was the first announcement of "Athletes Against Autism Foundation" started by Kolzig and fellow NHL players Byron DaFoe and Scott Mellanby (all three have children with Autism).

"It was an honor to have Olie be a part of our tournament," stated Mike Hickey, president of Special Hockey Washington. "Olie has such a huge impact on the athletes in the tournament and spending the time to watch them play and visit the locker rooms, as well as sign autographs for everyone was a very special part of the tournament." Special Hockey looks forward to a long relationship with "Athletes Against Autism" (AAA) and will give whatever support to their awareness of Autism and other developmental disabilities.

Very Special thanks goes out to all the volunteers in the Washington Youth Community, PVAHA, CBHL and local volunteers who made the tournament such a success.

Date of Publication: 
Fri, Nov 23, 2007