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Hockey is for Everyone

Hasek's Heroes continue to help Buffalo youth

Monday, 02.25.2013 / 10:00 AM / Hockey is for Everyone

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

It has been more than a decade since Dominik Hasek ended a historic nine-year run in Buffalo with the Sabres. Even though he hasn't patrolled the Buffalo crease for some time, he's still making a great contribution to the city.

That legacy for Hasek, who won the Hart Trophy twice and the Vezina Trophy a remarkable six times in Buffalo, began with the former goaltender's passion project: Hasek's Heroes. Hasek established the organization in 2001 with a personal donation of $1 million, at that time one of the largest individual donations to a single charity in sports history. Since then, Hasek's Heroes has worked tirelessly to help bring hockey to underprivileged young people around Buffalo, teaching them the sport along with the life lessons that come with it.

"Dominik is still very much a part of the program. Every year he contributes about $50,000 to the program," said Sean Green, the executive director of Hasek's Heroes. "He loves coming back to Buffalo. When he comes back, he wants to make sure he's on the ice with the kids, he wants to meet the parents. He doesn't just come in and say 'that's nice.'"

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Congressman Quigley using hockey as a tool

Saturday, 02.23.2013 / 1:45 PM / Hockey is for Everyone

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Before being elected to Congress to represent Illinois' fifth district in 2009, Mike Quigley spent 20 years in public service in Chicago. But Quigley had another tool at his disposal when he came to Washington: He was a hockey player.

"Playing pond hockey [growing up], we made our own nets. My brother made one out of wood and chicken wire and nails," Quigley said. "I fell back onto it and cut the back of my scalp top to bottom. I finished the game. After that, how tough can politics be?"

In addition to his work in the U.S. House of Representatives, Quigley has served as chairman of the Congressional Hockey Caucus, worked with the USA Warriors hockey program, and been an advocate Hockey is For Everyone and Hockey on Your Block, a Chicago initiative aimed at giving disadvantaged youths a chance to discover the game.

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Westlake serves as ambassador for sled hockey

Friday, 02.22.2013 / 9:00 AM / Hockey is for Everyone

Brian Hunter - NHL.com Staff Writer

In 10 years since being named to the Canadian national sledge hockey team, Greg Westlake's biography has been highlighted by gold medals at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games in Torino and the 2008 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships in Marlborough, Mass., where he scored the decisive goal in the final against Norway.

But the 26-year-old Westlake, who had both legs amputated when he was only 18 months old, would rather discuss his charity work to promote Hockey is for Everyone initiatives that deliver the sport to people whose disabilities he describes as far worse than his own.

"We were doing a 'Try Sledge Hockey Day' in the east coast of Canada," said Westlake, who hails from Oakville, Ontario. "I had a guy come out, he broke his back in a car accident on the way home from his men's league game. He came out and was playing sledge hockey for the first time, he just had tears coming down. It was his first time on the ice in 11 years since his accident. He never thought he'd get to play hockey again."

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Amherst's Stone making difference for LGBT athletes

Thursday, 02.21.2013 / 9:00 AM / Hockey is for Everyone

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

It was scary for 9-year-old Avery Stone to commute from Providence, R.I., to play club hockey in Concord, Mass. It took her away from home and introduced her to a new level of competition. It also was the first time she remembers hearing teammates use gay slurs.

A decade later, as a junior on the Amherst University women's ice hockey team, Stone isn't afraid to be herself and share with her teammates who she is. But it's a transition that took some time for the junior English major, who first came out of the closet as a high school junior at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass.

"The people I met in Andover were just really nice. It was clear that it wasn't just tolerated, but accepted to be different. That's where I found my footing," Stone said. "I was the captain of two teams my senior year, which was a great affirmation that it doesn't matter who you are, just the kind of athlete and person you are. I saw it as a great honor to be a captain in field hockey and ice hockey."

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N.J. Goals Ahead brings hockey to Newark youth

Tuesday, 02.19.2013 / 10:10 AM / Hockey is for Everyone

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Imani Moody admits to stumbling upon the sport of ice hockey as a fifth grader growing up in inner-city Washington, D.C.

The experience was so memorable and life-altering it eventually led him to New Jersey Goals Ahead, a program founded in 2004 to provide financially challenged children in Newark with an opportunity to learn and play the sport as he did.

"We operate across three different public schools in Newark and have about 50 kids who participate in our sessions," said Moody, the program's chairman. "We're taking kids in the second and third grade, offering them a chance to learn to skate and stick-handle, introducing them to the sport, and instilling the discipline and character that's associated with it."

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Hockey in Newark helping area youth fulfill dreams

Tuesday, 02.19.2013 / 9:00 AM / Hockey is for Everyone

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Devils have partnered with HIN, providing economic support and equipment donation drives while working with the city to refurbish the local Ironbound Rink. (Photo: NJ Devils)

Every member associated with Hockey in Newark, past and present, has a dream.

"In 10 years, we'd like to see somebody drafted into the NHL out of Newark. And we feel very strongly about that," New Jersey Devils chairman and managing partner Jeff Vanderbeek told NHL.com.

Hockey in Newark may not be in the business of grooming NHL talent. But the group has instilled in local inner-city children and teenagers a hope and desire that may not have existed a decade ago.

As a result, participation in ice hockey among teens in the city continues to grow.

"Hockey equipment is expensive and ice costs can be astronomical, but HIN does more than teach children how to play hockey. It makes sure that the students are doing well academically," HIN graduate and current Princeton University freshman Kevin Lopez told NHL.com.

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Hockey Without Borders shows power of sport

Monday, 02.18.2013 / 9:00 AM / Hockey is for Everyone

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

With the Slovenian national team clinching its first Olympic hockey berth, and Jarmo Kekalainen becoming the NHL's first European-born full-time general manager, the global hockey community continues to expand.

But one small group from Montreal is doing even more to demonstrate the reach of the sport.

It was just over a year ago that a few hockey players took on the mission of affecting positive change around the world and pursuing cultural exchange through the game they love. They founded Hockey Without Borders, a non-profit organization that already has made a mark internationally.

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Jablonski carried through tough times by hockey

Friday, 02.15.2013 / 1:00 PM / Hockey is for Everyone

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. - The eight jerseys hung against the glass at the St. Louis Park Recreation Center, bright red with white piping and names on the back. Those names won't be forgotten anytime soon in this bustling Twin Cities suburb.

Lundberg.

Hickok.

Besse.

Graham.

Moore.

Labosky.

Sprang.

Chumley.

It was senior night Tuesday at Benilde-St. Margaret's School, a small private school 15 minutes west of downtown Minneapolis. Here, those names will go down as a group that not only won a state championship as juniors, but came back to defend that title this season as seniors.

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Hockey prodigy Dunne blazing a trail

Wednesday, 02.13.2013 / 9:00 AM / Hockey is for Everyone

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Earlier this month, 15-year-old Jincy Dunne took a spill while playing with the boys high school team at Westminster Christian Academy in St. Louis. While cutting across the ice in a game, she collided with another player and sustained a concussion, forcing her off the ice.

You should see the other guy.

"I flipped over top of him and hit my head. He broke his femur," said Dunne, whose own high school doesn't have a hockey team, sparking some jealousy from friends when she began playing at Westminster. "[People asked], 'Why did you choose that team? Why not play for us?' We knew the coach and my brother knows the coach's son and he asked, so we said sure."

The Missouri hockey product has been making a lot of headlines lately, and not just for playing on a high school boys team as a 15-year-old. The 5-foot-6 defenseman also suits up with players years older than her -- including her older sister, Jessica -- as a member of the St. Louis Lady Blues 19U club. But her introduction to the hockey world may have come in January, when she helped lead the U.S. under-18 team to a silver medal at the U-18 Worlds in Finland.

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Paralysis hasn't stopped Arlen from making mark

Tuesday, 02.12.2013 / 9:00 AM / Hockey is for Everyone

Michael Blinn - NHL.com Staff Writer

It's hard to keep Victoria Arlen down. It's even more difficult to keep up with her.

The 18-year-old high school senior from Exeter, New Hampshire, is already an accomplished hockey player, swimmer, model and motivational speaker.

And she does it all without the use of her legs.

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Quote of the Day

It was the look in his eyes. Hockey is the most important thing in his life. He wants to be a hockey player, and nothing's going to stop him from being a hockey player.

— Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin on forward Alex Galchenyuk's potential