Service to Each Other
In February 2017, a group of Disabled Veterans traveled to Minnesota to compete in the inaugural Hendrickson Foundation Hockey Festival against other Disabled Veteran teams.
Although the squad did not bring home a trophy, they brought home the inspiration to do more.
In March 2017, four of these players came together to make a plan and bring hockey to their Veteran Brothers and Sisters.
What started as a one-time tournament trip to Minnesota quickly evolved into a tight-knit adult league team in Troy, Michigan. However, the Motor City crew knew they were destined for more.
In the summer of 2017, the Motor City Veterans Hockey Association was officially formed with the guidance of General Manager Rick Briggs and the sponsorship of the Center for Neurological Studies.
The team would relocate from Troy to Novi, where they would compete for the 2017-18 season.
Service & Fellowship
It is well known that in working with military veterans, especially those with "Invisible Wounds" of PTSD and TBI, it is imperative that the family be an integral part of the healing process.
With that knowledge, the Motor City Veterans Hockey Association (MCVHA) was created to meet the need to include family members, caregivers, and active support members as participants. Motor City is comprised of more than 80% military veterans, with more than half of the MCVHA members being veterans with disabilities. The other 20% is comprised of active duty military members (5%), family members (10%), and supporting members (<5%).
Additionally, the program is staffed with experienced USA Hockey certified coaches, equipment specialists, as well as a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in PTSD and TBI.
The MCVHA was created to help with the education, awareness and advocacy for our veterans dealing with both physical trauma rehabilitation, as well as recovery from “Invisible Wounds”.
Playing hockey is great, but for our players, it is as much about helping serve their brothers and sisters as it is having fun and enjoying each other’s fellowship.
Commitment to Excellence
In early 2018, Head Coach Brittney Briggs joined the program, helping guide player development.
In February 2018, the Motor City Vets sent their "Warrior" team back to Minnesota, and finished as a finalist in the Hendrickson Foundation Hockey Festival. This second-place finish, while disappointing, would prepare them for their appearance just three weeks later at their first USA Hockey Disabled Hockey Festival.
The Motor City Vets went into the 2018 Disabled Hockey Festival hopeful for a positive result. They would not be disappointed, and despite a first game loss, they would roll off four consecutive victories for the 2018 B Division Championship.
The MCVHA would be unsuccessful in their defense of the national title in 2019, and finished as a finalist once again in Minnesota. However, their run to start out 2020 would be far more successful.
The MCVHA east-side house team, Fraser Force, secured their first league championship in early February 2020. Just a few weeks later, the Motor City Warrior team travelled back to Minnesota for their fourth consecutive appearance in the Hendrickson Foundation Hockey Festival. Following two straight runner-up finishes, the team was victorious, bringing home their first ever Hendrickson Championship.
The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 interrupted the celebrations of two championships, however, as the USA Hockey Disabled Festival was cancelled for 2020.
During the 2022 season, the Motor City Warrior team traveled to Pittsburg for the USA Hockey Disabled Hockey Festival and secured the 2022 Warrior Tier IV Championship with a 4 wins, 1 loss record.
However, the team was unable to defend their title at the Hendrickson Foundation Hockey Festival in June, taking home second place in the Warrior C2 Division.
2022 and Beyond
Service to Each Other
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought continued uncertainty, but the Motor City Vets stand ready to come together and celebrate hockey and fellowship.
Currently operating teams in Troy and Novi, Michigan, the program plans to hold development camps, scrimmages, charity events, and family events throughout the 2022-2023 season.