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Minnesota special hockey players compete in Disabled Hockey Festival in Pittsburgh

Players from across the state traveled to Pennsylvania to compete against other special hockey teams from around the country.

MN Special Hockey teams get together for a photo with their 'Champion' banner
Minnesota special hockey players at the 2022 Disabled Hockey Festival in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pose for a team photo with their champion banner.
Kevin Smith / MN Special Hockey

PITTSBURGH — "I just want to say one thing - I look forward to this tournament every year. It was the highlight of my year." says Biza Peterson, a Minnesota Special Hockey player, about the annual Disabled Hockey Festival.

Many players from across the state of Minnesota look forward to the festival every year, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event hasn't taken place since 2019.

This year, Minnesota Special Hockey brought lots of different players to the tournament to compete in three different divisions: Rhino, Lion, and Cheetah.

In addition to special hockey at the festival, there are also games played for blind hockey, deaf/hard-of-hearing teams, standing amputee hockey, and many different divisions of Warrior hockey. There is another weekend in April completely dedicated to sled hockey as well.

From the way that the players talk about the weekend, you can tell that they love attending the festival and look forward to it every year. You can read some of the players thoughts on the weekend and their experience below.

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"I had a lot of fun getting to play defense" - Paige Faber

"One word: Fun!" - Ryan Frick

"It was fun demolishing the other teams and scoring goals" - Gage Warner

"It was fun, I had a good game and the teams were fun to play with since we have never played teams like that before!" - Megan Soukup

"It was a lot of fun and I got to meet new people." - Maxx Grell

MN Special Hockey is currently preparing for the annual Hendrickson Foundation National Hockey Festival, which will take place June 2-5 in Blaine, Minnesota.

You can find out more about special hockey programs in Minnesota here .

Related Topics: YOUTH SPORTS
Sydney Wolf is a reporter for The Rink Live, primarily covering youth hockey. She joined the team in November of 2021 and graduated from St. Cloud State University with a B.S. in Mass Communications and a minor in Writing and Rhetoric Studies and was a part of the University Honors Program.
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