When the 19th annual Dominion ladies hockey tournament was held in Mississauga in 1986, one of the players on the US team played despite a handicap. Patty Koch, 19, of Bridgeport, New York, was born without a right arm.
“The first time other players meet up with me on the ice, they kind of shy away from me,” Koch said, laughing. “Then when they see I play the game just like they do, they come right after me.”
All hockey fans love a good hockey story. Check out:
(in Canada) or (in the US) or check it out at your local library.
Koch played for a team from New York State called a Southern Belles, and although their team lost both its tournament games, she stood out for her aggressive play. She has discovered that by using a longer stick and tucking it under her right shoulder. She is able to handle the puck and shoot it reasonably hard.
“I can’t get off a good slap shot,” she admits. “But my wrist shot is pretty good. I get lots of practice playing against my brothers.”
For more information on amputee hockey visit the American Amputee Hockey Association at http://www.usahockey.com/aaha/