With the growth of the sport across the United States this past year, the event set a record for participants at a USA Hockey Blind Hockey Summit. There were 65 players and 21 coaches in attendance from 10 different Blind Hockey teams including the five established United States teams: Chicago Blackhawks Blind Hockey, the Hartford Braillers, the New York Nightshade, the Washington Wheelers as well as the hometown Pittsburgh Penguins Blind Hockey Team; as well as five of the Canadian clubs: Calgary Seeing Ice Dogs, Halifax Blind Hockey, Les Hiboux de Montreal, the Toronto Ice Owls, and the Vancouver Eclipse. There were also players participating from many other areas where Blind Hockey is just starting to grow including California, Michigan, New York Metro Blind Hockey, and St Louis.
Chicago Blackhawks had six players participate in the weekend event and competed in the Lower Vision which is comprised of players who are low vision or totally blind. “The summit was hosted last year in Chicago and doubled in size in just one year” said Michael Svac, Hockey Director and Head Coach for the Chicago Blackhawks Team. “Our players were excited to have the opportunity to represent the city of Chicago during a weekend of competition.” Hockey Player Gillian Ward noted that “it was exciting to have an opportunity to travel to Pittsburgh and play several hockey games and also have the opportunity to compete with both U.S. and Canadian players.”
The Chicago Blackhawks Blind Hockey Team is in their 3rd season and are located at Center Ice in Glen Ellyn. Click HERE for more information on Chicago’s Blind Hockey program.