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Hockey photos taken by Mick Carroll

Grand Rapids Jr. Sled Wings Are 2014 National Runner-ups

Coach Steve Kozlowski with the Grand Rapids Jr. Sled Wings

Our area team, the Grand Rapids Jr. Sled Wings went to the 2014 USA Disabled Hockey Festival in Marlborourgh, MA. with one thing in mind: 1st place.  They finished in 2nd place last year.  With high hopes heading into this year's championship game vs. Bennett, the title was within their grasps.  Unfortunately, Bennett proved to be a little too much and the Sled Wings had to settle for the runner-up trophy for the 2nd year in a row.  Congratulations to the Sled Wings for a great 2013-14 season!  The Sled Wings are supported through Mary Free Bed and the many volunteers, families, friends, fans, and fundraisers.  Mary Free Bed also sponsors many other sports and activities for people with disabilities, both junior and adults, including the Grand Rapids Pacers wheelchair basketball teams.

Adreian's Princess Lacey Now Dancing Among Angels

Adreian Payne with his Princess at senior night for the MSU star

Lacey Holsworth, the 8 year-old little girl who's been featured on national broadcasts of NCAA Basketball with Michigan State basketball player Adreian Payne, died Wednesday morning from cancer.  Adreian and Lacey kind of adopted each other through the love and support they had for one another.  At their first meeting over two years ago, at a hospital where Lacey was undergoing treatments, they became best friends, a friendship that grew ever so strong.  She was there when he had a rough game and he was there when she wasn't feeling well.  There were many good times, too.  In February he took her to his senior night and she attended many of his games including the last one just a few weeks ago at Madison Square Garden in New York.  They were together this past weekend in Dallas for the NCAA Basketball Tournament Final Four.  He was her big brother and she was his little Princess.  We featured a story about the two a few years ago.   Lacey's official twitter page stated this morning, "Princess Lacey has achieve the ultimate victory.  She now dances among Angels."  

Great News: An Unprecedented Breakthrough For Paraplegics

4/8/14: A report this morning on WLNS 6 (Lansing, MI.) newscast stated that scientists and other medical professionals working in the field of paralysis have gained great progress in using electrical pulses to stimulate the nerves in the spinal column to create movement.  The subjects in this trial, all paralyzed, were able to voluntarily move their feet, ankles, legs, and hips.  The procedure used and the results are explained here.  The electrical device used appears to be similar to a pacemaker, sending signals to enable those with severed nerves in their spinal column to move about.  Hopefully, this device will make it possible to move without the aid of a wheelchair.  This is so promisng for the many who are currently paralyzed.


Josh Sweeney scores winning goal

With a smothering defense and the ability to keep the play in the Russian zone for most of the game, USA Hockey's National Sled Team defeated Russia, 1-0, to win GOLD in the 2014 Winter Paralympics.  It was a game pretty much dominated by USA but it was kept close by the Russian's never say die attitude, physical play, and a hot goalie.  But USA had an even hotter goalie in Steve Cash, who recorded his 8th shutout in Paralympic play going back to the 2010 Paralympics where he had 5.  USA's lone goal was scored by Josh Sweeney on a breakaway after intercepting a pass just inside the Russian zone late in the 2nd period.  Congratulations to Team USA and their performance on a great game played by all, including by their coaches.  By winning gold, this makes back-to-back gold medal wins in the Winter Paralympics for Team USA Sled Hockey.

Replays Of USA Paralympic Hockey Games Are Now Available

Want to relive the thrill of seeing Team USA win gold in the 2014 Paralympics?  All games, including the gold medal game, are available as replays for free at TeamUSA.org or click on below for a direct link to the games.  The links to the games are also available at the top of our page under the tab labeled "Disabled / Sled" as sub links next to "USA Paralympic Hockey." Please note, the gold medal game is divided up into periods.

Game 1, USA vs. Italy, click here.                                                  Gold Medal Game (by periods only):
Game 2, USA vs. Korea, click here.                                             1st period, USA vs. Russia, click here.
Game 3, USA vs. Russia, click here.                                            2nd period, USA vs. Russia, click here.
Semi-finals, USA vs. Canada, click here.                                   3rd period, USA vs. Russia, click here.
Bronze, Canada vs. Norway, click here.                                   Medal Awards Ceremony, click here.

Andrew Henry Plays Hockey In The Land Of Giants

Andrew Henry of the Buffalo Sabres

Andrew Henry, 9, plays hockey with a heart several times larger than his size and age.  He plays for the Buffalo Sabres Sled Hockey Team against adults several times his size in the Mid-America Great Lakes Sled Hockey League.  Why?  Because he wants to play with his older brother, Matthew, who has a disability.  Out of place playing against adults?  No way!  Other than for his size, you'd never know it.  He wears his heart on his sleeve and plays with the same passion.   And his heart?  That's for his brother.  For this, Andrew's our hero.  He's up and beyond, and his actions speak volumes of who he is.

Andrew's one of several young, talented hockey players on the Buffalo Sabres sled hockey team that plays against adults.  They're quite good and fun to watch.  And they're not shy about going up against the much bigger competition.  They rock!

Disabled Hockey Workshop

Mick Carroll, our Coaching Director and Disabled Hockey Coordinator, attended a USA Hockey workshop October 4th-6th for training on how to bring the sport of hockey to those that are physically challenged.  The workshop, held in Madison, Wisconsin, featured many USA Hockey officials with disabled hockey expertise.  Training included how to organize, promote, write grants, recruit players, mental aspects, equipment, a disabled hockey coaching clinic, and many other facets on how to make it a successful and rewarding experience for all.  Included in the weekend was a training session on how to assemble a sled and then skating in the sled, plus two exhibition games between USA Hockey's National Sled Team and their Developmental Team.   During the on-ice training session / scrimmage, Mick stretched out sideways in his sled to redirect a pass into the net.  He said, "I had a blast!  Absolutely, the most fun!!!"  For more on sled hockey, click here.

New Owner At Burton's Ice Mountain Arena Complex

Exciting news:  After two years of closure, Ice Mountain Arena Complex finally has a new owner.  And it's getting a complete makeover.  The arena was in bad shape due to the utilties being shut off for several months and a break-in causing thousands in damages but after viewing inside the building with the new owner it's coming together and is not that far away.  New plumbing, wiring, and paint are some of the many projects going on inside the building.  The new owner plans to reopen the facility sometime in 2014.  Click here to read the complete story.

A Good Thing...

Good people make a difference in the lives of those in need.  So do something good for someone.  It doesn't have to be huge.  It's the gesture that counts.  Always be nice!  

Same Association... Just A New Look

Former GFHA website

We're still the same association.  We did a software changeover for our website, to give us a new, cleaner look.  We lost some options from our old site but this is much easier software to work with.  Most everything was transferred into our new site, so use the menus at the top to navigate around our site, as we're going to limit placing menus along the left panel of our pages.  We're still in the construction mode, but please visit us often.  Thank you!

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