USA Hockey has programs across the nation covering six disciplines of disabled hockey — blind hockey, deaf/hard of hearing hockey, special hockey, sled hockey, standing/amputee and warrior hockey.
Fator will sing the national anthem and drop the puck at the championship game Oct. 6. The event is held at City National Arena and the Las Vegas Ice Center. It is open to the public with free admission to all events.
“This was so incredibly inspiring to see these guys, their heart, their commitment to being the best,” Fator said. “They don’t focus on what they don’t have. They focus on what they have.
“Talk about inspirational. It’s just something you have to see.”
Fator discussed his motivation for being involved in the event during an interview this week.
Q: Have you always been a hockey fan? Can you recall when your passion for the game began?
A: I grew up in Texas. Hockey was not a big deal there. No one cared about hockey when I was growing up.
I remember when the Minnesota North Stars moved to Dallas (in 1993) and they became the Dallas Stars. Myself and anyone else I knew in Texas was like, ‘What, hockey, in Texas?’ Who would have thought? We went to a few games and thought: ‘This is incredible.’ We loved them. It was so much fun.
We had kind of known about hockey, but growing up in a small town, just south of Dallas, people were more into rodeos and more into sports like racing. We had a basketball team with the Mavericks and the Dallas Cowboys were kind of our claim to fame, but who would have thought we would love hockey so much?
It was funny when they were telling us Vegas got a hockey team, I had so many people say, ‘I just don’t know if Vegas is going to support this.’ I said, ‘Unequivocally, yes’ because I had seen in it Dallas. Sure enough, Vegas loves hockey.