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!!
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.
Congratulations on the well deserved award celebrating your amazing spirit!
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 Therapy, UPMC 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!
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!
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
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.
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.
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 Penguin, Kelsey DiClaudio, has been chosen to be on the USA Women’s National Sled Team for the 2017-2018 season. She will be competing in tournaments and events throughout the year while enrolled in college and competing on the Mighty Penguins Senior Team. To see the complete roster, click below.
Congratulations to Mighty Penguins, Dan & Harrison!
USA Hockey announced the 17-player roster for the 2017-18 U.S. Development Sled Hockey Team, which will compete in various national and international events as well as train with the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team during the 2017-18 season.
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.
Read the full story:
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.
CRANBERRY TWP., PA – (JUNE 1, 2017) – The Pittsburgh Mighty Penguins are proud to announce that it has received a $5,400 Quality of Life grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. The award was one of 102 grants totaling $721,425 awarded by the Reeve Foundation to nonprofit organizations nationwide that provide more opportunities, access, and daily quality of life for individuals living with paralysis, their families, and caregivers. Conceived by the late Dana Reeve, the program has awarded over 2,900 grants totaling over $20 million since 1999. Funding for the grants is made available through the Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) operated by the Reeve Foundation under a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Mighty Penguins Sled Hockey operates therapeutic and competitive ice hockey programs for the benefit of physically disabled individuals in Pennsylvania and adjacent areas. With the grant, the Mighty Penguins purchased eight new hockey sleds, of which three were specialty sleds with extra support, and eight sets of hockey sticks. The additional hockey sleds and sticks have given the organization the ability to serve even more children and adults with disabilities.
The grants awarded in the second cycle of 2016 were distributed among a wide variety of categories, including recreation, sports and leisure, advocacy, equipment and other independent living-related services. A significant number of projects focus on community re-integration initiatives such as assistive technology programs, home accessibility modifications, accessible transportation, and accessible playgrounds that create more community opportunities for those living with paralysis and their families.
“It’s important to find balance while filling the needs of the community, especially those living in underserved areas,” said Donna Valente, Director of Quality of Life Grants. “People may live only a few blocks from an outstanding adaptive recreation program, but if they don’t have a ramp to get out of their homes or accessible transportation to get to that location, they can’t participate in the activity, and we really aren’t meeting the overall goal of this program. That’s why we examine every proposed project to see the impact it will have in the community, and try to determine how we can best help them reach their full potential.”
About the Reeve Foundation
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. The Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) is the support side of the Reeve Foundation’s twin missions to provide “Today’s Care” and to strive for “Tomorrow’s Cure” and offers a free, comprehensive, national source of informational support for individuals living with paralysis and their caregivers. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB’s Charity Seal. For more information, please visit our website at www.ChristopherReeve.org or call 800-539-7309.
About the Mighty Penguins Sled Hockey
In 1998, volunteers from Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Erie introduced the sport of sled hockey to Pittsburgh and the Mighty Penguins were born! Initially the goal was to provide children and young adults with physical disabilities the opportunity to participate in a competitive sport. The parents and guardians of these players have seen firsthand the physical and emotional benefits of the program. Many local organizations have helped our program by donating ice time, equipment, customized hockey gear and insurance. Individuals throughout the Greater Pittsburgh area volunteer their time and talents to educate and assist our players.
Mighty Penguins Sled Hockey
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(973) 379-2690 ext. 7123
In an exciting finish to the 7th annual USA Hockey Sled Classic presented by the NHL, Pittsburgh’s Mighty Penguins Senior team was crowned Tier 2 Champs, defeating Keystone State rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers, 7-3!
The Mighty Penguins Adult Intermediate Team also made it to the championship in the Tier V division and finished 2nd with a heartbreaking loss to Carolina 3-0.
This year’s NHL Sled Classic was hosted by the Nashville Predators at the Ford Ice Center in Antioch, Tennessee and included a record 24 teams, each affiliated with an NHL club. The Mighty Penguins were proud to send both of our adult teams for the 2nd year in a row. A huge thanks to the Nashville Predators, USA Hockey Disabled Section & the NHL for sponsoring another great tournament!
For full coverage of the NHL Sled Classic, click here