Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- The University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) men's hockey team was playing hockey on Saturday afternoon, but in a much different way than usual.
The Bulldogs switched their skates for sleds at the Heritage Sports Center in Duluth, part of an effort to raise money for disabled hockey programs in the state of Minnesota.
"I think it's awesome, any time we can come out and do something like this to show our support for the community," UMD senior forward Keegan Flaherty said. "To come out here with these guys, especially, it's a real honor.
UMD was taking on the Minnesota Northern, a three-time champion of the Midwest Sled Hockey League.
"We're really fortunate, and these guys are making the best of what they have," Bulldogs sophomore forward Adam Krause said. "They're having fun. It's really cool to see them enjoying the game like we do."
About 250 people showed up on Saturday afternoon to watch the first-of-its-kind contest, a 10-6 win for the Northern.
"It's all about love of the game, and they're out there having a blast," UMD junior forward Max Tardy said. "It's fun for everyone here today."
The event was acceptiong donations to help benefit Duluth Area Special and Sled Hockey (DASSH) and the Minnesota Sled Hockey Association.
DASSH was created in January 2012 to help provide opportunites to people with physical and developmental disabilites to participate in the game of hockey. A full slate of ice sessions has already been scheduled for the 2012-13 season.