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Former American Special Hockey Association star hopes to form teamPosted: Updated:
The American Special Hockey Association currently has over 80 teams competing around the country.
And with any luck, they will be adding one more very soon.
Max Maksimyadis is a former American Special Hockey Association goalie and a recipient of the USA Disabled Hockey Athlete of the Year Award. He has cerebral palsy and spastic hemiparesis, which limits his movement on the right side of his body, specifically in his right hand, what would be his stick hand.
But, none of that has ever stopped Max. So, when he was left without a team to play on not too long ago, he decided he would figure it out on his own. “Mike Dwyer, my coach when I was with the New York Raptors, he always instilled in us to lead and I started thinking, because I wasn't playing, I decided to make my own team, here, in New York.”
The former Raptors' goalie is now in charge of a Special Needs Hockey program that practices at the Brewster Ice Arena.
Along with Max, there are multiple mentors that help out each week, all who have given their time to help the kids learn the sport, while making each session a special one. “Every week, I come because it's the kids. Like, one, they smile and when they smile they just, they light up the room. It's like you know you are doing something good and it's benefiting them. It means the world,” says mentor Tyler Steinfeld.
If Max can get enough players to join, he can start a team, which will compete in the American Special Hockey Association, a dream he's had since he started the program.