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AAHA Disabled disciplines take center stage at Warrior and Sled Hockey National Championships

By Jack Williams, 03/26/24, 2:30PM EDT


WAYNE, N.J. — The Atlantic Affiliate will prove that hockey truly is for everyone when the disabled hockey disciplines take the ice for USA Hockey Warrior and Sled National Championships in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

From April 11-14, the Warrior Hockey National Championship will take place at Ice Vault Arena in Wayne, N.J. The event will feature injured and disabled veterans facing off in a long weekend of competition and fun. Warrior hockey gives veterans an opportunity to play hockey — either for the first time or as a constructive release for the anxieties of returning to civilian life.

“We’re very proud to have this event for our veterans,” said National Special Hockey and AAHA Disabled Hockey Representative Alex DePalma. “This is a great event for them, both on and off the ice. They’ll be playing against teams from around the country, and we’ve actually seen instances where players have reconnected with members of their old platoon. There’s that comradery that they’re able to experience.” 

The affiliate is endeavoring to provide a similarly positive experience at the Sled Hockey Championships in Pennsylvania the following week. “We’re going to have opening ceremonies for both. We’re going to lay out the red carpet and make it feel like a special event,” said DePalma. “It’s not just about playing a bunch of games. We really go out of our way to make it a special experience.”

Sled Hockey championships will take place April 18-21 at Ice Line in West Chester, Pennsylvania. One of the toughest disabled disciplines, sled hockey showcases players’ grit and determination out on the ice as they skillfully balance the sled and race across the rink.

“We want to make it a great weekend for all of our athletes,” explained Mr. DePalma “That’s what we’re all about.”