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Hockey with a heart: Student athlete nominated for humanitarian award

Finance major and ND Hockey goaltender Joe Rogers nominated for the BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award

by ND Hockey

January 17, 2014

Hockey Player Joe Rogers 402 x 164


Notre Dame senior goaltender Joe Rogers (Marysville, Mich.) has been selected as one of 18 nominees for the prestigious BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award that will be presented at the Frozen Four this April.

The Hockey Humanitarian Award is presented annually to college hockey's "finest citizen" and seeks to recognize college hockey players, male or female, who contribute to local and/or global communities in a true humanitarian spirit.

Rogers, a native of Marysville, Mich., serves as Notre Dame's third goaltender and is known for his work off the ice in various facets of community service.

A finance major in Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business, Rogers was born with an underdeveloped right hand that keeps him from being able to close his catching glove, something that would make it hard to be a successful goaltender at any level.

As a child, he had operations when he was two years old and again when he was five that took a bone from his foot to try and reshape the thumb on his right hand. Despite the obstacles, and with a custom-made glove, he has learned to catch the puck and either pull it in to his chest to make a save or cover it on the ice. He has played hockey since he was four-years old and through hard work and perseverance has followed his dream to play Division I hockey. Now a senior at Notre Dame, he has become a role model for kids with handicaps that want to play sports, especially hockey.

While growing up in Michigan, Rogers was able to meet and talk to Jim Abbott, the baseball pitcher who was born without an arm, yet pitched in the major leagues. Abbot was an inspiration to Rogers and they have stayed in touch over the years. Rogers has now become the role model for younger kids with handicaps as he takes the time to meet and talk with these youngsters about how they can do anything they want and to never give up their dreams.

Parents or family members have heard Roger's story and they reach out to him. He has a network of kids that he stays in touch with and encourages to keep striving towards their goals and never give up. That is a motto that Joe has lived his life by and continues to play it forward. That's just one aspect of why Joe Rogers is a nominee for the award.

He is one of the most respected players in the Notre Dame locker room as his teammates seek him out about academics, various community service projects and just about anything about life on the Notre Dame campus. While being involved with team community service projects, he also takes on projects of his own.

For the past three years, he has volunteered his time with the River City Sled Rovers, a sled hockey team in the South Bend/Mishawaka area and he has been with the group since it started.

Rogers also works with the local youth hockey organization, the Irish Youth Hockey League (IYHL), especially with the goaltenders, along with his teammates in his free time.

This season, he has gotten involved in an even bigger project. During the 2012-13 season, Rogers got involved with a group called Hockey Saves, an organization that started near Fort Benning, Ga., that provides members of the military with funding to play hockey and provide equipment and backing for those who play the game.

During the summer of 2013, he was asked to join the Board of Directors of Hockey Saves and has become involved with the organization as a consultant and ambassador for the group as it helps unite the game of hockey and members of the military.

Rogers has undertaken a project through the Notre Dame hockey program that will promote the Hockey Saves organization through a jersey auction and Notre Dame hockey. On the weekend of Jan. 24-25 when the Irish play Northeastern, the Irish players will wear specially designed jerseys - designed by Rogers - in both games to promote Hockey Saves. The jerseys will then be available through an on-line auction with the proceeds going to the group as well as all monies raised that weekend through various promotions.

The Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) honored him in its final season in 2012-13 with the Terry Flanagan Award that is presented annually to an upperclassman that has overcome some type of personal adversity and is active on the university campus and the surrounding community. The award is named after long-time Bowling Green assistant coach Terry Flanagan who lost his battle with cancer in 1991.

An outstanding student in the classroom, Rogers is a finance major in Notre Dame's prestigious Mendoza College of Business where he has a 3.071 grade-point average. This past summer, he served an internship in New York with Credit Suisse, an investment bank where he worked on the fixed-income trading floor. He was hired by Credit Suisse earlier this month and will begin working next summer on his financial licensing tests before becoming a full-time trader.

At Notre Dame, Rogers has played in three games in his career but in 2010, he led the United States team to a bronze medal in the Amputee World Hockey Championships that were held in Montreal, Que., and was named the tournament's most valuable player.

View story on the ND Hockey website.