Hagerstown, Maryland native Micheal Barnhart was named USA hockey player of the year, and will accept his award in Colorado Springs at USA’s Hockey’s Annual Congress later this month.
Micheal had a stroke that put him into a coma in 2007 at the age of 31 that changed his life forever. Barnhart had to learn the ABC’s again while learning how to walk again. Since his stroke Barnhart has had other health challenges such as seizures, and organ transplants over the years. Dispute all his challenges he has overcame it all with his love of sled hockey.
Barnhart learned about sled hockey while attending a a 5K in Frederick where he met current US sled hockey team member Noah Grove. Barnhart also gained interest in sled hockey after watching the United States win gold medal in Sochi in 2014.
In 2016 Barnhart had started the Hagerstown Kodiaks sled hockey team. Barnhart had put in many hours trying to find players who qualify to play, and several hours sending out letters to USA Hockey and other charities for grants for sleds and equipment for players. The Kodiaks now have 18 registered players playing in Hagerstown and serves as the teams captain and president.
Barnharts amazing efforts is helping grow the sport in Maryland, and is an inspirational many disabled players in America.
“I’m still grinning,” Barnhart said. “This sport has moved me so far. I’ve exceeded all of the goals I could’ve ever set for myself.”