Hockey is for Everyone uses the game of hockey to drive positive social change and foster more inclusive communities. During the month of February, the Wild will celebrate organizations and teams around Minnesota that work to create a greater State of Hockey and exemplify the meaning of Hockey is for Everyone, providing a safe, positive and inclusive environment for players and families regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation and socio-economic status.
In mid-November 2017, 28 sled hockey teams converged on Plymouth Ice Center for the eighth annual USA Hockey Sled Classic. Part of a record number of NHL-sanctioned teams, Minnesota Sled Hockey put on a memorable showing as hosts of the event.
Minnesota Sled Hockey fielded two teams to compete in Tier III and Tier V games. Both teams were runners-up in their respective tiers, a respectable showing in a large field that included top U.S. players.
All but three of the players named to the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games roster for the United States attended the Classic. The 14 national team attendees were part of a record turnout of 300-plus athletes, speaking to the growth of the game on both local and national levels.
Video: USA Hockey Sled Classic
Through that growth and the subsequent increased visibility of sled hockey, the Minnesota Sled Hockey Association is dedicated to promoting societal awareness of the challenges and needs of people with physical disabilities.
The Minnesota Jr. Wild, as well as the Minnesota Wild sled hockey team, are closely affiliated with the NHL's Minnesota Wild and Minnesota Hockey as they work to make the sport more accessible to those with physical disabilities. With a talented repertoire of players, the Minnesota Sled Hockey programs promote the development of excellence of hockey in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Wild sled team will play during the second intermission at Thursday's Wild game, designated as Hockey Is For Everyone Night.