The Monsters are excited to once again partner with the Cleveland Rockin’ Wildcats for their annual Monsters Buddies program. The program pairs a local special needs hockey team with their Monsters counterparts, through a series of social events. Many of the players and their buddies stay in contact throughout the year and form friendships and mentorships. The Cleveland Rockin' Wildcats are members of the American Special Hockey Association, which was created in 2000 to give people of all ages & abilities a chance to learn & grow by playing hockey.
The Cleveland Rockin' Wildcats mission statement is as follows:
"To educate, motivate and encourage individuals who have developmental and physical disabilities to participate in the sport of ice hockey in an environment that is adapted to the level of ability of the participating athletes. To use the game of ice hockey to assist individuals with disabilities in developing characteristics such as dependability, self reliance, confidence, concentration and a willingness to share personal accountability that will help the individual be more successful both within and outside the hockey environment."
The first Monsters Buddies event of the 2016-17 season was held at Dave & Buster’s in Westlake.
The Wildcats came out to the Monsters game on December 28th. They were part of the Cave Crew before the game and got a tour of the locker room from their Monsters buddy after the game.
In January the Monsters and their buddies got to do what they do best…play hockey! The Wildcats came out to Monsters practice on January 16th and then joined the team on the ice after for games, skating lessons, and even some snow angels.