NESHL in a Nutshell

 The NESHL is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established in 2005 as a means for regional Sled Hockey teams to engage in competitive, sportsmanlike hockey. We are the first-ever organized, multi-state, adult sled hockey league in the U.S, with Teams from Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Western Mass, Maryland, Vermont, and Pennsylvania currently in our league.

Sled hockey, also known as sledge hockey, is the fast, exciting, rough-and-tumble version of ice hockey played primarily by people with lower limb mobility impairments. The game is essentially the same as “stand-up” ice hockey, the major difference being that the players use a sled with two hockey skate blades mounted under a seat.

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USA Warriors capture inaugural CT Cup!


Newington 11/20/14----The Northeast Sled Hockey League (NESHL) came into Newington Arena this past weekend where six teams from MD to NH competed for the first ever CT Cup. The action was fast and furious from the first game on Saturday to the last game on Sunday. Forty three goals were scored and thirty six assists handed out. Add to that the number of checks and there was plenty of action at each game.

  The Opening Ceremony on Saturday included four members of the US Women’s Sled Hockey Team at center ice sporting shiny new Gold Medals from their recent history making Women’s Sled Hockey World Championship. After recognizing their team’s accomplishment they were each introduced to the crowd to loud cheers! The singing of the National Anthem was performed by a vocalist from Central CT State University. To conclude the Opening Ceremony Jason Jakubowski, vice president of external relations from Hospital for Special Care and Carlos Arellano from McDonalds of Newington proceeded to center ice for the Ceremonial Puck Drop.

     Despite a majority of the players having some type of mobility-impairment fans were surprised to see the level of competitiveness of the teams. Sled Hockey is played in a sled, or sledge, that has a seat and two skate blades mounted underneath. Players also use two sled hockey sticks which allows them to skate, shoot, and pass just like the able-bodied version of hockey. The NESHL is proud to have members, both past and present, of the USA Men’s and Women’s Sled Hockey Teams on local league clubs. There are many players who have medals from International or Paralympic competition.

   “This type of event took a lot of work from many people but it would not have been possible without the support of Hospital for Special Care, McDonalds of Newington, ConnectiCare, and Newington Arena” said NESHL Commissioner Mike Ciavarro. “I heard many positive comments from the weekend’s games and there was already talk about next year’s event!”

   After all the action on Saturday the weekend Championship came down to one game on Sunday. The NY Rangers were taking on the Philadelphia Flyers as the USA Warriors were in the stands watching. A Ranger win and they were the champs. A Flyer win by 4 goals or more and they would be the champs. A Flyer win by 3 goals or less and the Warriors would be victorius. The Flyers took the early lead in the game and opened up a 2-1 advantage after two periods.

   The third period, 12 final minutes, and one of these three teams would be taking home the Cup. The action was back and forth but the Flyers started to get the better of the Rangers. The Flyers scored two more goals making the score 4-1. The Flyers outshot the Rangers in the period but could not put one more past the Ranger netminder. The buzzer went off and the USA Warriors became the first CT Cup Champions!

   There were plenty of stories for everyone to share with family and friends this weekend. Not only do these games bring out the competitiveness of the players but they also build friendships and promote camaraderie. These memories will last forever, and be built upon next year!



 CT Cup Trophy Presentation

Left to Right---Matthew Catalano, Admitting Community Liaison, Hospital for Special Care; Janet Connolly HSC Sports and Community Programs Manager, Hospital for Special Care; Josh Misiewicz and Thom Hirsch, USA Warriors; Mike Ciavarro, NESHL Commissioner; David Kelly Chairman of the Board, Hospital for Special Care




Westfield, MA – Amelia Park Arena is proud to host the first games of “Adult B” Division action of the Northeast Sled Hockey League on Saturday, November 15th starting at 3pm.  The Northeast Sled Hockey League (NESHL) has expanded their competition to “A” and “B” Divisions, which the local team, Western Mass Knights, is a part of.   The “Adult B” Division teams are:  Northeast Passage (NEP) Wildcats, Vermont Sled Cats, and the Western Mass Knights.
“We are thrilled to expand our league competition to Westfield,” said League Commissioner Mike Ciavarro.  “Amelia Park has long been a supporter of our sport through their annual tournament and to be able to showcase the talent of our athletes at this beautiful facility is great for our league.”  The schedule is:

VT Sledcats
Western MA Knights
VT Sledcats
NEP Wildcats
NEP Wildcats
Western MA Knights

Amelia Park is an ice arena/sports complex and memorial garden, financed by the late Westfield philanthropist Albert F. Ferst (1919-2011), in memory of his wife Amelia.  In 2000, the Ice Arena that Millie envisioned several years ago became a reality.  Unfortunately, her early death prohibited this gracious lady from seeing one of the Ferst’s many generous acts to the Westfield community come to fruition. The Albert & Amelia Ferst Operating Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit entity, was formed in 1998, with the expressed purpose of building & maintaining this recreational facility and garden in her memory.


Tug of War in Flemington

Written by: Steve O’Brien      10-26-14
     When the USA Warriors and Philadelphia Flyers clash on the ice a great game follows. This one was no exception. During warmups players from each team seemed on point mentally; preparing themselves for the game ahead. The first period started with the Warriors dominating the ice netting their goal early in the period on a beautiful back door shot by David Noblit. The Warriors maintained a hard fore-check in the Flyers zone resulting in a second goal by Andrew Wilson after a four shot-rebound sequence.  The Warriors would continue to play hard laying out many good hits and keeping Philly on their heels.
     The second period would prove to be a great one for the Flyers as they began to play tighter defensively, while bringing in a good fore-check of their own. Nobody scored in the second period but there were a plethora of great shots from the players of both teams, and even better saves by both goaltenders.
     The third period saw a shift in play, with the Flyer tying up the game early with goals by Danny McDevitt, and Tim Jones. After the game was tied up the Flyers had a second wind in them playing with an aggressive fore-check, and giving the goaltender Benjamin Harrow several scoring chances and a good  workout. Even with this momentum shift the Warrior’s defense would prove too resilient despite the Flyers having a few juicy chances that were ultimately denied by the great goaltending of Harrow.
     The game ended in a 2-2 tie with both teams satisfied in the Congo-line and looking forward to the next game.



Back and Forth Fight Between States

Written by: Steve O’Brien   10-26-2014 
      The Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Freeze hit the ice on Sunday ready to play their first game of the season. Both teams skated hard in the first period; each throwing bodies into the boards and pucks at the net. The Flyers, however, had more time in the Freeze’s zone then NJ would have liked with the Flyers scoring goals scored by Jack O’Grady, and Mike Doyle with Danny McDevitt assisting on both. The Freeze, however, would not go into the second period down by two, with Jack Wallace scoring one at the end of the period.
      The second period would once again see the Flyers strong fore-check; doing their best to keep the puck in NJ’s zone. Despite that hard fore-check, the Freeze would take the lead for most of the second period with goals from Nick Teodoro, and Connor Fee. Even though they were down, the Flyers were not out; with Danny McDevitt tying the game at three apiece. Nick Teodoro would once again give the Freeze the lead ending the period with a score of NJ 4 and PHL 3.
     Entering the third and final period the Flyers knew what had to be done and came out stronger and more focused then they were in the previous two periods. They netted three goals starting with a beautiful two line pass from Doyle to McDevitt to tie the game at four all. Tim Jones followed with two more goals, the last of which was scored on an empty net. The game would end 6-4 with the Flyers taking the first game of the season.
     Both team played exceptionally well setting the stage for the rest of the games this season.


 A Unique Event - The NESHL CT Cup Sled Hockey Weekend November 15-16th 

Nov 1, 2014

 The Northeast Sled Hockey League (NESHL) will host its inaugural CT Cup Tournament On Nov 15 and 16, 2014 at the Newington Arena (NA) in Newington, CT. The tournament will feature some of the most competitive sled hockey teams and athletes with disabilities in the region. 

 The NESHL, established in 2005, is a "sled hockey" league. Sled hockey, also known as sledge hockey, is the fast, exciting version of ice hockey played primarily by people with lower limb mobility impairments. Utilizing two hockey skate blades mounted under a seat, and two sled hockey sticks, players are able to skate, pass, shoot, and check. Many players in the NESHL have played on the USA Men’s or Women’s Sled Hockey Teams. This year’s games will feature 6 teams from Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. 

 Courtesy of local corporate partners Hospital for Special Care, McDonalds of Newington, ConnectiCare, and Newington Arena access to the games is completely free of charge to the public. “The NESHL is excited to partner with these local partners for our inaugural event. We are extremely appreciative of the support they have afforded us” stated NESHL Commissioner Mike Ciavarro. “Our athletes compete at a high level and the games should prove to be very exciting.” 

 On Saturday Nov 15th at 4:30PM one of the NESHL’s showcase games will feature the CT Wolfpack facing off against the USA Warriors. The Warriors team comes from Maryland and is comprised of recently disabled veterans. They will be looking to upend the Wolfpack on their home ice and this should make for an interesting matchup. 

 All are welcome to come down and check out these amazing players! For a complete schedule of games please go to

About the NESHL:
The NESHL is a CT based non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established in 2005 as a means for regional Sled Hockey teams to engage in competitive, sportsmanlike hockey. We are the first-ever organized, multi-state, adult sled hockey league in the U.S, with Teams from Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Western Mass, Maryland, Vermont, and Pennsylvania currently in our league. To learn more about the NESHL please visit
About the Newington Arena:
Newington Arena is a multi-use recreational facility that has two NHL ice skating rinks that cater to skaters/hockey players of all abilities. We are the home facility to various college, high school, and youth skating and hockey programs. In addition, we have party and corporate conference rooms that can host small groups to major conferences/trade shows. To learn more about NA please visit
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