2019 Jennifer Kryger Spirit Award Winner — Novice Player, Brynn!

Each Junior Team’s Coach nominates one player for the Jennifer Kryger Spirit Award at the Grand Rapids Tournament. Sled hockey players who display similar character qualities on and off the ice as Jennifer, a previous Sled Wing’s player, did in her short life.

Jennifer was encouraging to her teammates and befriended others. She had a positive outlook on life, and a contagious laughter that brought smiles to many. Jennifer put a lot of heart in her game and as a sled hockey player, never gave up.

Our coaches nominated our newest player, Brynn, attending her first tournament. She was diagnosed in May with Hereditary Spastic Paraparesis a progressive degenerative spinal cord disorder. This year’s winner is Brynn!!

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Nomination from Coaches:

Brynn is new to the Mighty Penguins, she has instantly became a part of our team with her determination, eagerness to learn the sport, and genuine happiness.   Prior to playing sled hockey, Brynn was an avid softball player, playing on a travel team.  Bryn has Hereditary Spastic Paraparesis a progressive degenerative spinal cord disorder, which she was officially diagnosed with this past May.  Her symptoms quickly came to a point that she could no longer play Travel Softball or run and play with her friends without falling.  Brynn loved being part of a team and the competition of sports, she didn’t know how she would fill that part of her life and then she was introduced to sled hockey by her doctor.  The moment he showed her the video of sled hockey, Brynn knew she found her new sport.  Since Brynn first got into a sled, she has been committed to the sport, creating new friendships with her teammates and honing her skills.  She has joined us in every practice, our strength training program, and 2 sled hockey day camps all in less than 2 months of playing sled hockey.  She is looking forward to her first tournament in Grand Rapids.

Brynn always has a smile on her face, approaches everything positively and brings joy to those around her.   Brynn’s mom says that even though Brynn’s life has changed a lot in a very short period of time, she has always stayed positive.  Brynn’s always had a bright smile and her mom was afraid she would lose it through all of this but she hasn’t.

Brynn is very deserving of this reward, she processes many of the same characteristics of Jennifer Kryger and brings positivity to those around her.

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Congratulations on the well deserved award celebrating your amazing spirit!

2019 Pittsburgh Therapist Challenge – Lauren’s Legacy Cup

Our Junior & Novice teams hosted 4 pediatric therapy centers to play for the Lauren’s Legacy Cup! The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh repeated as Champions! Thanks to Positive Steps TherapyUPMC Lemieux Sports Complex and WHS Children’s Therapy Center for experiencing the game of sled hockey.

The CUP was named in honor of a physical therapist that volunteered with the Mighty Penguins through  LEND Pittsburgh. Lauren passed away January 2018 from Acute Myeloid Leukemia.  She had an amazing spirit and is dearly missed by her husband, parents, family, friends, co-workers and patients.  Lauren will always be a special part of the Mighty Penguins. https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/laurens-legacy-gift/mightypenguins

We look forward to the Pediatric Therapy centers sharing with their patients all about the Mighty Pens. Therapists are our best recruiters! We thank them for all they do for our players!

Mighty Penguins Roll at the Pittsburgh Marathon Events

Thanks to everyone who supported our 9 Mighty Penguins raising over $4000!

 

 

 

 

 

As part of the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, our players chose to “Run for a Reason” selecting Hockey Sticks Together.  It is a foundation that was set up with a partnership of the Penguins Foundation and supports all special hockey programs including our sled hockey team.  All the funds raised by our players were directly given to the Mighty Penguins.  We plan to do it again next year!

 

Start of the 5K

 

 

 

 

Pittsburgh Therapist Challenge

Our Mighty Penguins hosted the Pittsburgh Therapist Challenge where teams from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMCPositive Steps Therapy and The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh competing for the Lauren’s Legacy CUP! Congratulations to The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh for winning! They are going to proudly bring the CUP home!

The CUP was named in honor of aPhysical Therapist that volunteered with the Mighty Penguins through  LEND Pittsburgh. Lauren had an amazing spirit and is dearly missed by her husband, parents, family, friends, co-workers and patients. We were honored to have Lauren’s mom and cousin in the stands to cheer on the players. Lauren will always be a special part of the Mighty Penguins. https://www.crowdrise.com/…/laurens-legacy-g…/mightypenguins

 

Pittsburgh Police Take the Ice to Face-Off with the Mighty Penguins

On February 17, 2018 the Mighty Penguins Intermedaite team faced off against the Pittsburgh Police Department. This event was in honor of Martin Joyce, a retired police officer that recently passed away. Officer Joyce had two grandchildren that play for the Mighty Penguins, and the family felt what a better way to honor their Grandfatherthan to raise money for the Mighty Penguins organization in his honor.

The Pittsburgh Police Officers arrived ready to play but soon realized playing hockey in sleds is harder than it looks. The officers enjoyed playing so much, they would love to do it again next year. In total, we raised over $1200 for the Mighty Penguins.  Thank you, Pittsburgh Police for taking the time to help our teams!

Girls Only Sled Event

The Mighty Penguins hosted our first ever Girls Only event on the ice at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex!  We had new players, current players, girl scouts and Chatham University Women’s Ice Hockey team. The Mighty Penguins wanted to follow the World Girls Hockey Weekend initiative and try it our way….on sleds!

 

  • Introduce girls and women to basic ice hockey skills in a positive, fun and safe environment.
  • Inform females about ice hockey opportunities in their community.
  • Educate participants about fair play, sportsmanship and teamwork.
  • Celebrate female ice hockey, introduce participants to new friends and help them fall in love with the game.

We did all of the above and more!  Kelsey DiClaudio, Mighty Penguin and Team USA Women’s player spoke to the participants to share her story and passion for hockey.  The Chatham University Women’s Ice Hockey team led the on-ice portion on skates and the players also tried out our sleds, too.  Everyone enjoyed learning more about the sport of sled hockey.  We are excited to add more girls and women to our rosters! #GirlsRule

 

2nd Annual Penguins Sled Face-Off

1st Place Intermediate Division – Texas Sled Hockey

The Mighty Penguins hosted 16 team in the 2017 Penguins Sled Face-Off in 3 divisions. There were about 200 players on the ice at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex & RMU Island Sports Center. All players received a Penguins backpack with give aways from the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation.  DICK’S Sporting Goods & UPMC Rehabilitation were our Stanley Cup Sponsors.  The Intermediate Adult Division had teams from Pittsburgh,Johnstown, Tampa Bay, Texas & Buffalo.  Each team was guaranteed at least 4 games.  The team from Texas came out on top.

1st Place Junior Division-Philadelphia Hammerheads

The Junior Division (Youth under 18 yrs) was our largest division with 7 teams from Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, North West Ohio, Cincinnati, Nashville, Grand Rapids and Buffalo.  The teams were close with a tie breaker determining the teams to play in the Championship Game.  The Philadelphia Hammerheads finished first.

 

1st Place Novice Division-Johnstown Sitting Bulls
This is how much fun the Novice Division is!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mighty Penguins 2nd Place in an incredible shoot out in the Championship game.

 

 

The Mighty Penguins are the first to offer a Novice division.  We wanted to give our new developing players a chance to touch the puck more and play in an exciting half ice format following the ADM guidelines in USA Hockey.  This year four teams entered and the Mighty Penguins had two of them.  We have a growing team of new players of which many including our goalies were playing in their first game. The Championship Game ended in the longest shootout of the weekend!  The goalies were outstanding and kept their teams in the game through 10+ shooters! Congratulations to all teams!

 

Mighty Penguins Receive Jefferson Award for Public Service

The Mighty Penguins Organization, nominated by Kyle Burgess, won the Jefferson Award for Public Service Team of 2016.  Each organization nominated shared their stories of what a volunteer can do to bring positive influences to so many worthy causes.  The Mighty Penguin Board Members accepting the award were touched, moved and informed of organizations making a difference every day in our hometown of Pittsburgh.

We thank the Post-Gazette, BNY Mellon and Highmark for sponsoring the award and ceremony at the Heinz History Center.

 

Accepting the Jefferson Award are Michele Humphreys, Fran Muracca, Joe McCormick, Erica Burg, Mark McCoy, Dan McCoy, Amy Brown & Angela McCoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the full story:

http://www.post-gazette.com/life/lifestyle/2017/05/07/Jefferson-Awards-Mighty-Penguins-Sled-Hockey-board-wins-Public-Service-Team-Award/stories/201705070002

 

More about the Jefferson Award:

Named for Thomas Jefferson, one of America’s most influential Founding Fathers and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, the Jefferson Awards’ central tenet is that each and every citizen shares a responsibility to work toward the betterment of their communities through economic participation, public service, volunteerism and other such efforts to improve life for all. Today, the mission of the Jefferson Awards is to recognize, inspire and activate volunteerism and public service in communities, workplaces and schools across America. To date, more than 50,000 individuals, including many prominent Americans, have been recognized by the Jefferson Awards for their efforts to make the world a better place. For more information, visit www.jeffersonawards.org.