| March 1, 2013

Quigley Joins Disabled Veterans and Chicago Blackhawks Celebrities for Outdoor Hockey Game

CHICAGO –  U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) joined a team of Chicago Blackhawks alumni and local celebrities to play an outdoor hockey game against the USA Warriors, a team comprised of injured and disabled Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.

“Despite the challenges they face, the USA Warriors hockey players have a love for hockey and a competitive spirit that remains strong,”said Rep. Quigley. “The same qualities that made them successful in the military, their teamwork, perseverance and determination, make them inspiring competitors on the ice and I’m honored to be a part of this event.”

The event was held on Saturday at Soldier Field in conjunction with the 2013 Hockey City Classic in Chicago. The USA Warriors Standing Team faced off against Rep. Quigley’s team just after the USA Warriors Sled Team took on the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Blackhawks Sled Team.

“This weekend has truly demonstrated what an amazing city Chicago is,”said USA Warriors Team Captain Mark Little. “The people here have warmed the USA Warrior’s hearts, and we are honored to have played our favorite sport in Soldier Field. We really felt at home here. GO HAWKS!” Little, a retired Army Captain who grew up playing hockey, lost both legs in 2007 in Iraq when the Humvee he was riding in was rocked by an improvised explosive device (IED).


Congressman Mike Quigley (red jersey) helped organize the game against the USA Warriors after skating in a charity game against the team in Washington, DC.


The USA Warriors teams took the ice against Chicago Blackhawks celebrities, local personalities, and the RIC Blackhawks Sled Team in outdoor games under the lights at Soldier Field.


Congressman Quigley (far right) joined the USA Warriors Sled Team on Friday when they were honored during the Chicago Blackhawks game.

Though the Chicago celebrities won the game 8-7, the USA Warriors had a winning weekend. Friday night the Chicago Blackhawks hosted the sled team during the Blackhawks win over the San Jose Sharks, and the team was recognized in a video segment during the game. Before their outdoor game on Saturday,the Warriors joined the Chicago Blackhawks during practice at Soldier Field, where they met with players that included Captain Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa.

“These guys are our heroes,”said Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville. “It’s an inspiration to see these guys want to come out here and play and do anything they can to have some fun, stay in shape and play something they love. Getting to share it with some pro athletes is special for them, but I think it’s more special for us when we get a chance to show some of our appreciation for what they’ve done for us.”

“We cannot thank Congressman Quigley enough for his steadfast support for the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program from season to season. His interest in and support of our Nation’s military veterans is amazing and very much appreciated,” said Thomas Hirsch, President of the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program.“The Chicago Blackhawks organization also demonstrated its sincere appreciation of the sacrifices that our players have made and continue to make.  Their gestures of appreciation and support have left a memorable impact on our players, coaches and volunteers.”

TheUSA Warriors Ice Hockey Program is comprised of servicemen and women who use the sport of ice hockey as a rehabilitation tool to overcome both physical and mental injuries sustained either in combat or in defense of the United States of America.  Both the standing and sled teams include numerous Purple Heart recipients and service members from across military branches.

In addition to Rep. Quigley, the Chicago team included former Chicago Blackhawks players Reginald Kerr, Cliff Koroll, and John Madden, television play-by-play announcer Pat Foley, color analyst and former player Troy Murray, studio host and former player Steve Konroyd and local personalities CBS2 Anchor Rob Johnson and ESPN Radio Host Carmen DeFalco.

Rep. Quigley began playing hockey when he was six years old and still plays regularly when he is back home in the District.  He is a co-chair of the Congressional Hockey Caucus, a bipartisan group of Members of Congress dedicated to advocating for the expansion of hockey programs in America. Rep. Quigley is an avid Chicago Blackhawks fan and has worked with the team to expand access to floor hockey programs to youth at the Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club in Chicago and to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community through the Center on Halsted.

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Category: Articles, Community News, Salute to Soldiers

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