USA Hockey today announced that forward Chris Leverkuhn, team captain of the San Antonio Rampage Sled Hockey Team, has been selected to represent the 2011-12 U.S. National Developmental Sled Hockey Team.
The 17-man roster for the US. National Developmental Sled Hockey Team was selected following the 2011 USA Hockey Sled Hockey Player Development Camp last month in Rochester, N.Y. The U.S. National Developmental Team will practice with the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team throughout the course of the season and will participate in several tournaments, including a matchup against the Canadian Developmental Team two times in 2011-12. Members of the U.S. National Developmental Team can be called upon at any time throughout the course of the season to serve on Team USA if a member of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team is not able to compete.
“I am excited for this unexpected opportunity,” said Leverkuhn. “This year I went to Rochester primarily to support my fellow Rampage sled hockey members but unexpectedly received an invitation to join the developmental team. I am looking forward to working with the national team members and learning from the coaches. This experience will provide me with a great opportunity and allow me to work on areas that need improvement.”
Leverkuhn, 27, is a native of Logansport, Ind. and has been a member of the Rampage Sled Hockey Team since its inception in 2007. He serves as the team’s captain and assistant coach providing guidance to new members. This is his first selection to the U.S. National Developmental Team. Leverkuhn is a former enlisted member of the U.S. Army. He was injured on January 2, 2004 in Ramadi, Iraq when a roadside bomb blew up underneath his fuel tanker and claimed his right leg below the knee.
“I am very proud of Chris and what he has accomplished since his injury,” said Janis Roznowski, Executive Director and Founder of Operation Comfort. “Chris loves sled hockey and will represent the developmental team as well as the U.S. National Team with dignity and respect.”
The San Antonio Rampage Sled Hockey Team was the first team to form that consists of all wounded military service members. The team is run by Operation Comfort, a nonprofit organization that works with wounded service members coming from Iraq and Afghanistan who are recovering at BAMC in San Antonio, Texas.
The Rampage Sled Hockey Team was formed in January 2007 and was adopted by the San Antonio Rampage shortly thereafter. The Rampage (AHL) continues to host various fundraising events, including their annual Military Appreciation Night, to raise money to support the Rampage Sled Hockey Team. The sled hockey team started with seven players and has quickly gained popularity in which the team now consists of more than 20 players. The team began playing in tournaments in 2008 and has since traveled to Illinois, Utah, New York, Massachusetts, Missouri and throughout Texas.