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USA Hockey National Disabled Fest Coming To Blaine

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild
The seventh annual USA Hockey National Disabled Festival will take place April 1-3, 2011, in Blaine, Minn. The festival, to be held at the Schwan Super Rink, will encompass all four disciplines of disabled hockey, including deaf/hard of hearing hockey, special hockey, sled hockey and standing/amputee hockey.

USA Hockey, in conjunction with Minnesota Hockey, the Schwan Super Rink and the Minnesota Wild, held a press conference prior to Wednesday’s Wild game to announce the event locally. Alexi Salamone, a 2010 Gold medalist at the Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, was on hand for the event. Wednesday’s Wild game featured Disabled Hockey throughout the game, including a Flag bearer, Let’s Play Hockey, program sellers, a special game, as well as a sled game.

This year's festival, which took place April 8-11 in Laurel, Md., brought together a total of 50 teams and nearly 800 players from 20 states across the United States. The 2010 festival hosted youth and adult sled tournaments; special hockey games; an exhibition between U.S. and international amputee all-star teams; and U.S. deaf/hard of hearing athletes competing against local able-bodied teams.

The 2010 festival also featured games with sled hockey players from the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program. Organized to operate exclusively for United States Military personnel wounded in defense of their country, the program's mission is to organize and administer an ice hockey program that provides a recreational, therapeutic experience and education to its participants.

Also among this year's highlights were appearances by the Stanley Cup; Duff Goldman, star of the Food Network's “Ace of Cakes,” who designed, produced and delivered a custom-made cake; and members of the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team that won the gold medal at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C., last month.

NOTES: Goldman's appearance was featured on “Ace of Cakes.” Broadcast details will be announced in the future ... Features, photos and links from the 2010 USA Hockey National Disabled Festival can be found here... The Potomac Valley Hockey Association, an affiliate of USA Hockey, in conjunction with USA Hockey's Disabled Hockey Section, served as host for the 2010 USA Hockey National Disabled Festival ...The NHL's "Hockey is for Everyone" initiative donated auction items to the festival.
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