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March 25, 2014

PSU Men’s Ice Hockey to host Sled Hockey Fundraiser

Panthers to face Northeast Passage Wildcats on April 5

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Plymouth State University men's ice hockey will host the Northeast Passage Wildcats sled hockey team for a fundraising exhibition event on Saturday, April 5 at the Plymouth State Ice Arena in Plymouth, N.H. Doors will open at 1:00 p.m. with the exhibition game beginning at 1:30 p.m. This event is open to the public and there will be an admission charge of $5 per person. All proceeds from the event will benefit Northeast Passage's sled hockey team.

            Northeast Passage is a privately-funded adaptive sports and therapeutic recreation program at the University of New Hampshire. Northeast Passage is home to New England's most competitive sled hockey team, drawing members from around the region for practice and competition. For this event, both teams will be using adaptive sled hockey equipment. The exhibition game will consist of three 15 minute periods.

            Sled hockey is an ice sport that allows individuals with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy and participate in the popular winter sport. Sled hockey is played as a team sport and the concepts and rules are the same as "stand-up" hockey. Instead of standing up to skate, participants sit on an adaptive device known as a sled. To propel themselves, players use two shortened hockey sticks with a blade on one end and metal picks for propulsion on the other end.

           "We're really excited to work with Northeast Passage and to have them bring sled hockey to the central N.H. area," said Craig Russell PSU men's hockey head coach. "There has been very little exposure to our community and we believe it will foster even more interest and show everyone that nothing should stop you from playing the game you love. Hockey has always been about giving back and we're thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful event."

           This event is being organized by Victoria Arlen, a participant of Northeast Passage and gold medal winner at the Summer Paralympic Games in swimming. "I am excited to have the support of Plymouth State to help fundraise for Northeast Passage," Arlen said. "I wouldn't be where I am today, sports wise, if it were not for Northeast Passage. They introduced me to Paralympic sports and believed in me when not many people did. I hope this fundraiser can help them continue to impact future athletes," she said.

            "We are grateful for Victoria's efforts to bring this event together and the buy-in from the men's team," said Bill Stewart, director of Northeast Passage's sled hockey program. "We hope people from the community will come and support this great cause and cheer on both teams."

             Taylor Chace, fresh off a gold medal win with the U.S. sled hockey team at the Sochi Paralympics, will be playing as part of the Northeast Passage team. His winter Paralympic medals and Arlen's summer medals will be on display.

            There will be several raffle items including a signed Boston Bruins jersey and sticks and a Team USA hockey jersey signed by James van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel. Raffle tickets will be sold during the event.

            For over 20 years, Northeast Passage has been a nationally recognized leader in the field of therapeutic recreation. As a non-profit affiliated with the University of New Hampshire, the organization specialize in providing innovative solutions for individuals with disabilities including children, adults and our nation's military personnel. For more information on Northeast Passage, visit www.nepassage.org.

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