For the first time ever, the USA Hockey Disabled Hockey Festival featured so many teams and players it was forced to expand to two weekends. Already the largest disabled hockey event of its kind, the 14th annual festival in Chicago, IL reached a record 128 teams and 1,700 players, a 40% increase from the previous record.
The first weekend of the Festival ran April 5-8 and featured four of USA Hockey's disabled hockey disciplines, including blind, deaf/hard of hearing, special and Warrior. A total of six teams from Minnesota participated in the first weekend, including three Minnesota Wild Special Hockey teams and three teams of Minnesota Warriors players.
The top Minnesota Warriors team won all five of their games to claim the festival championship. Led by Matthew Aiken and Lucas Rouen, who finished first and second in festival scoring, respectively, the Minnesota Warriors scored 51 goals and allowed only 15.
The Festival concludes this coming weekend (April 12-15) with sled hockey, including the USA Hockey Sled Hockey National Championship. Six sled hockey teams from Minnesota will be participating. The Minnesota Wild Sled Hockey association will be sending one adult team and two youth teams to the festival, and three teams (two adult, one youth) will be attending from Hope, Inc in Moorhead, MN.
USA Hockey, in partnership with HockeyTV, will provide live streaming coverage of all games at the Leafs Ice Centre, including the Sled Hockey National Championship.
For a complete schedule of the 2018 Toyota-USA Hockey Disabled Hockey Festival, click here.