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Your Favorite USA Hockey Stories From 2020

By USA Hockey, 11/13/20, 12:45PM MST


USA Hockey asked players, coaches, officials and families to share stories from this past year.

Last week we asked the USA Hockey family to share their favorite hockey stories from the season so far. Hockey has returned in many different forms across the country, and while the sport looks slightly different, the positives of the sport remain the same. Enjoy stories from players, coaches, officials and families about the positive impact of hockey this year!

Positive Community Impact

In a year filled with twists and turns amid the COVID-19 pandemic the Hanover Youth Hockey program turned their attention to promoting Cancer Awareness through the October Saves Goalie Challenge. This has provided a sense of 'community' to help participants be better hockey players and better people which has been a foundation of Hanover Youth Hockey for years. Our goalies encouraged teammates to communicate their message and in doing so the Wear Pink initiative raised almost $11,000 and distributed close to 200 pink masks to players in our organization to ensure player safety at the rinks.

- Submitted by Ryan F.

A Miracle Hockey Network

Our local hockey associations and one man in particular, James “Mort” McVay, have come together to support our family over the last year since my youngest son was diagnosed with DIPG Brain Cancer on 12/31/2019. I have two sons: Zackery is an 8-year old Red Mite in the SHAHA Association in the South Hills of Pittsburgh and my youngest son, Jacob is 6 and started playing Little Pens in 2019 through SHAHA with the intent of playing as a Mite this year. However, Jacob was diagnosed with DIPG on December 31, 2019. We have been fighting it as a family, as a hockey association and as a local hockey community ever since. Immediately following Jacob’s diagnoses, Zackery’s coach, James “Mort” McVay, began an unbelievable effort to support Jacob and our family. He put together a “GoFundMe” account that has raised nearly $40,000 to help with expenses associated with experimental nature of Jacob’s care, much of which was from the families of the SHAHA family. He organized a communication network that has brought Jacob into prayer circles all around the US, he put together Meal Trains for our family, he helped us get engaged with support from the Pittsburgh Penguins, he put together a birthday party for Zackery when we were unable to do anything due to being at DC Children’s National Hospital for experimental treatment, he used his contacts with medical experts around the U.S. to get us in touch with the best experts in the world and into a promising medical trials. Mort arranges for fundraisers by Bethel Park High School Hockey and helped coordinate additional support from the Mt Lebanon Hornets and the Southpointe Rink Rats. Jacob’s Fight continues every day, and his fight will save lives, maybe millions starting with his, as he forges a roadmap for care that is just the tip of the spear. With the support of Mort, Jacob’s guardian angel on earth, our SHAHA hockey family and the Pittsburgh Hockey Community, we will win this! 

- Submitted by Mark S.

A New Locker Room

For the first time since I was a squirt, I had to get fully dressed (minus skates) before going into an arena.

We didn't realize this before showing up for our first Duluth, MN A-level tournament game. All of us needed to dress in the parking lot in 30-degree weather but it ultimately became a bonding experience for the team. It seems every arena has different COVID-19 protocols but I'm willing to do anything needed to keep safe and continue skating this winter. 

- Submitted by Chris C.

Ready To Get Back

I’m 43 years old and I’ve been playing hockey about once a week in the Mt. Lebanon Pennsylvania men’s ice hockey 25-and-over leagues for the past 16 years.  The league was canceled March 13, 2020 because of COVID, and as of today, the league still has not been allowed to resume.  

This is the longest period that I haven’t been on the ice since I was 14 years old. 

- Submitted by Frank L.

Photos From The Ice

I was privileged to play at the veterans tournament at the U.S. Air Force base in February - Submitted by Jason M.

Trying to get through Covid safely and with some silliness - Submitted by Marc F.

My grandaughter and her billet brother - Submitted by Terri M.

U.S. Army @HavSkatium with 14U players. Thank you for your service, sir. - Submitted by Haverford Hawks

Hockey Week In America - Submitted by Liam McHugh

Submitted by Hockey Dad

New locker room - Submitted by Jeff K.

My girls saw Chris Kreider practicing - Marine D.

Halloween! - Submitted by Savannah W.

- Submitted by Bernie

- Submitted by Sophie L.

New normal - Submitted by Dan M.

My son the goalie getting tips to improve his game - Submitted by Thomas C.

My last trip to the penalty box - Submitted by Christina N.

#HockeyIsBack - Submitted by Tommy H.