The Mountain Warrior Sled Hockey Team was founded in 2011 when Mark McKenna, a Canton native and longtime hockey coach, was working out in the gym at Fort Drum where he is employed as a Civil Engineer.

After witnessing a wounded soldier have difficulty accessing exercise equipment in a gym on Fort Drum, McKenna recognized a need to provide wounded soldiers and athletes with an opportunity to continue to be physical and compete in competitive athletic activities.

With the support of the Society of American Military Engineers-Fort Drum Post, SUNY Canton, St. Lawrence University, SUNY Potsdam, Clarkson University, many local businesses and community donors, and a few hockey connections including USA Hockey Disabled Section and Unique Inventions of Ontario, he formed the first Sled Hockey team in the Northern New York called The Fort Drum Mountain Warriors.

Soon after forming the team, McKenna organized an annual, 3-day long tournament bringing teams from Syracuse, Albany, Buffalo and Ottawa to Canton, NY for 3 days of fierce competition and comradery. “Although the sport is growing, there are still many people who have never heard of sled hockey,” McKenna said.

His goal is to raise awareness about the sport and hopefully continue to inspire and recruit wounded soldiers and disabled athletes.

ABC50’s Alex Hazard met with Mark McKennna to learn more about the Mountain Warrior Sled Hockey Team. See the full Veterans Voices segment above.