Hockey

Injured soldier finds therapy on the ice

Posted January 9, 2012
Updated January 10, 2012

It's been a long time since Pat McIlvain has had a chance to feel the chill of a hockey rink.

"The ice is where it happens for a hockey player," said Rom Alphin, one of McIlvain's therapists.

McIlvain played hockey for the University of Pennsylvania-California - better known as Cal-U. He had a passion for it.

Pat McIlvain Mitchell: Injured soldier gets therapy through hockey

A semester before graduation he surprised his loved ones by joining the Army and was quickly shipped off to Afghanistan. Even half a world away, McIlvain was never far from the game he loves.

In April 2010, McIlvain's world changed.

"He was shot. He was shot in the head," recalled Judy Kinnally, another one of McIlvain’s therapists.

McIlvain’s brain injury was and continues to be a challenge. He can't walk, he can't speak and requires full time care. That's where the ice comes in.

McIlvain's group of therapists thought it would be a great idea to get the hockey player back to the rink. They found a man in Raleigh who could help get the job done.

JV Cotterell runs Triangle Special Hockey - a league for mentally and physically challenged hockey players. He quickly got to work building a pushable sled for the wounded soldier.

"We typically deal with guys who can propel themselves,” Cottrell said. “When they called and said they wanted to get the guy on the ice, I said, ‘whatever we've got to do.’"

He brought a helmet, hockey gloves and even a stick.

"It's indescribable man,” Aplhin said. “I really can't tell you what it's like. It was really cool. When we got the puck out and he hit it for the first time it was cool too. You could see the hockey skills coming back. You know he's having fun.

"I'm seeing a hockey player and not a guy on a disability,” Alphin said. “This is a special day."

A day that this soldier finally gets the chance to come home.

7 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • bpayne812-take two Jan 10, 2012

    Glad you could get back on the ice Patrick. Thank you for you sacrifice to our country.

  • beasley27607 Jan 10, 2012

    Most of your stories I find irritating and uninteresting--this one was exceptional!! Great Story!

  • john41 Jan 10, 2012

    Great job JV and I love this story.

  • StunGunn Jan 10, 2012

    Very inspirational. It's wonderful that this fine young man is given the chance to be back on the ice - something he loved before he made the ultimate sacrifice in serving his country.

  • rachel Jan 9, 2012

    My nephew by marriage- go Patrick!!!!

  • ktstcanes Jan 9, 2012

    Two thumbs up. Very, very nice that they did this for him.

  • cyauch Jan 9, 2012

    Absolutely awesome! Kudos to everyone involved!

  • The Ryder Cup

    Saturday at 9:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • CFB: Duke vs. Virginia

    Saturday at 12:30 pm on FOX50

  • CFB: Oklahoma vs. TCU

    Saturday at 5:00 pm on FOX50

  • CFB: Arizona State at USC

    Saturday at 8:00 pm on FOX50

  • The Logan Zone

    Sunday at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • The Ryder Cup

    Sunday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers at Atlanta

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • NFL: Kansas City at Pittsburgh

    Sunday at 8:20 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CFB: NC State vs. Wake Forest

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on WRAL-FM

AP Top 25
Thu, Sept 29
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
6
Fri, Sept 30
7
6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 北京时间6:00 MST8:00 EST
Preview
10
Sat, Oct 1
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
20
 
14
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
 
13
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
 
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
2
 
22
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
 
23
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
 
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
12
 
11
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
25
 
8
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
4
 
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
15
 
9
1:00 PT2:00 MT3:00 CT4:00 ET8:00 GMT4:00 北京时间1:00 MST3:00 EST
Preview
 
2:00 PT3:00 MT4:00 CT5:00 ET9:00 GMT5:00 北京时间2:00 MST4:00 EST
Preview
21
 
18
3:00 PT4:00 MT5:00 CT6:00 ET10:00 GMT6:00 北京时间3:00 MST5:00 EST
Preview
 
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
Preview
1
 
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
Preview
16
 
3
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
5
 
17
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
 
19
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
 
7:15 PT8:15 MT9:15 CT10:15 ET2:15 GMT10:15 北京时间7:15 MST9:15 EST
Preview
24
 
NFL Scoreboard
Thursday, Sep. 29
Miami 5:25 PT6:25 MT7:25 CT8:25 ET0:25 GMT8:25 北京时间5:25 MST7:25 EST7:25 CT4:25 UAE (+1)20:25 ET23:25
Cincinnati 
Sunday, Oct. 2
Indianapolis 6:30 PT7:30 MT8:30 CT9:30 ET13:30 GMT9:30 北京时间6:30 MST8:30 EST8:30 CT17:30 UAE9:30 ET12:30
Jacksonville 
 
Carolina 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Atlanta 
 
Oakland 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Baltimore 
 
Detroit 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Chicago 
 
Tennessee 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Houston 
 
Buffalo 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
New England 
 
Seattle 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
NY Jets 
 
Cleveland 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Washington 
 
Denver 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 北京时间1:05 MST3:05 EST3:05 CT0:05 UAE (+1)16:05 ET19:05
Tampa Bay 
 
Los Angeles 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
Arizona 
 
New Orleans 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
San Diego 
 
Dallas 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
San Francisco 
 
Kansas City 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ET23:30
Pittsburgh 
Monday, Oct. 3
NY Giants 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ET23:30
Minnesota 
 
Minor League Baseball
International League
El Paso 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 
 
TOUR Championship (PGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1R. McIlroy - z-12F
2tR. Moore - y-12F
2tK. Chappell - y-12F
4P. Casey-9F
5H. Matsuyama-6F
6tJ. Thomas-5F
6tD. Johnson-5F
8tA. Scott-4F
8tJ. Dufner-4F
10tS. Kim-2F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
Reignwood LPGA (LPGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1tI. Lee-310
1tS. Oh-37
3tM. Uribe-210
3tA. Uehara-28
3tS. Smith-27
3tJ. Song-27
3tB. Altomare-26
8tD. Kang-19
8tI. Kim-19
8tP. Lindberg-19
View Full Leaderboard
 
European Open (EURO)
PosNameScoreThru
1A. Levy - z-19F
2R. Fisher - y-19F
3tM. Jonzon-16F
3tR. Karlsson-16F
5B. Wiesberger-15F
6M. Kaymer-14F
7tR. Bland-13F
7tE. De La Riva-13F
7tF. Fritsch-13F
7tG. Havret-13F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
Pacific Links (CHMP)
PosNameScoreThru
1C. Montgomerie - z-15F
2S. McCarron - y-15F
3tM. Jimenez-13F
3tJ. Sluman-13F
3tS. Dunlap-13F
3tD. Garwood-13F
7tB. Langer-12F
7tM. Dawson-12F
7tO. Browne-12F
10tF. Funk-11F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
ATP Scoreboard
Wednesday, Sep. 28
Chengdu Open (ATP)
Second Round
K. Khachanov3 6 6   
A. Mannarino6 3 1   
(3) G. Dimitrov77 6    
D. Lajovic61 4    
(4) F. Lopez6 7    
J. Monaco3 5    
(8) P. Lorenzi0 4    
D. Schwartzma6 6    
 
Shenzhen Open (ATP)
First Round
Y. Nishioka6 3 4   
T. Fabbiano3 6 6   
Second Round
(7) F. Fognini63 4    
M. Zverev77 6    
(2) D. Goffin62 6 2   
M. Jaziri77 3 6   
(3) R. Gasquet6 6    
A. Whittingto1 0    
(6) B. Paire0 77 5   
J. Tipsarevic6 65 7   
 
WTA Scoreboard
Wednesday, Sep. 28
Wuhan Tennis Open (WTA)
Third Round
(8) M. Keys6 4 6   
D. Kasatkina1 6 4   
(4) S. Halep6 6    
Y. Shvedova3 3    
(6) V. Williams2 2    
(9) S. Kuznetsova6 6    
(7) C. Suarez Nav5 66    
(11) J. Konta7 78    
(1) A. Kerber712 5 4   
(14) P. Kvitova610 7 6   
(3) A. Radwanska6 6    
C. Wozniacki4 2    
(5) K. Pliskova 
(10) D. Cibulkova 
B. Strycova 
J. Jankovic 
 
Tashkent Open (WTA)
Second Round
(8) N. Broady2 4    
I. Khromachev6 6    
(5) K. Nara2 2    
K. Pliskova6 6    
(4) N. Hibino7 6    
R. Ozaki5 1    
(2) K. Flipkens77 3 77   
M. Sakkari60 6 64   
(6) L. Tsurenko6 3 6   
I. Soylu1 6 1   
(9) D. Allertova7 6    
P. Tig5 2    
S. Shapatava2 5    
K. Kozlova6 7    
S. Voegele6 3    
F. Schiavone2 2