SHI History

1980Pat Flick who had been involved with minor hockey since 1970, notices a young boy who always came out to rink but only to watch his brother. He discovers that he is developmentally challenged. So with the help of the Grandravine Athletic Association he arranges some ice time and with just 2 players the Grandravine Tornadoes are born

1992While waiting for his flight at Toronto International Airport, Tony Sansone reads about Pat's team and dreams of starting a similar program in St. Louis. For 2 years he struggles to find the ice time necessary

1994Finally in January, with the help of Kelly Chase of the St. Louis Blues, Tony launches the Gateway Locomotives. On Thanksgiving weekend , he invites Pat Flick and the Grandravine Tornadoes to St. Louis for a two team tournament

1995St. Louis again hosts their Thanksgiving tournament with the 2 new clubs joining Grandravine and the host Gateway Locomotives. They are the Durham Dragons and the Ottawa Valley Ambassadors

1996Special Hockey International is officially launched, with Pat Flick as commissioner and Tony as President. They establish an annual tournament to be hosted by different teams. St. Louis the first annual SHI tournament

British diplomat Mike Dwyer is transferred to New York from Toronto where his son Iain had played with the Grandravine Tornadoes. Mike convinced and cajoled his friends and business associates to help start the New York Raptors. The team is now run by Mrs. Reggi Mensch and Mrs. Patty Nadolske

In Denver Tracy Tucker starts the Colorado Golden Eagles with 5 players after reading about the St. Louis program in American Hockey News. They have now grown to 40 players spread across two teams

1997The tournament is held in New York with 10 teams attending. The league is growing

Inspired by the New York Raptors, the Cougars take to the ice in Albany

1998Sixteen teams travel to Canada's Capital, Ottawa

2000The tournament is moved from the Fall to a February date in 2000 and held in the beautiful city of Denver. This gives teams more time to prepare

2001In 2001 the tournament was hosted in Toronto by its other founding team the Grandravine Tornadoes

20022002 was Albany's turn to host the annual tournament

Now back in England, Mike Dwyer makes SHI truly international by starting a team in London

The Werewolves of London are a part of Streatham Youth Hockey Club in London, England

2003The tournament is back in the Toronto area with the Durham Dragons hosting the biggest SHI Tournament ever in nearby Whitby

The Newmarket Nighthawks teams join SHI.

The Michigan Far Flyers join SHI. With two teams, the Varsity Team and the Junior Varsity Team, they are a part of the Variety FAR Conservatory of Therapeutic and Performing Arts Ice Skating program in Birmingham, Michigan