Feb. 11, 2014
Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame senior goaltender Joe Rogers (Marysville, Mich.) has been selected as one of five finalists for the prestigious BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award. The five finalists were selected from a list of 18 nominees that was announced in January by the Hockey Humanitarian awards board of directors.
The Hockey Humanitarian Award, now in its 19th year, is presented annually to college hockey’s “finest citizen” and includes players from Divisions I, II and III and seeks to recognize college hockey players, male or female, who contribute to local and/or global communities in a true humanitarian spirit.
Joining Rogers among the five finalists are Cornell’s Alyssa Gagliardi, a senior from Raleigh, N.C., senior Danielle Rancourt from Vermont and Sudbury, Ont., Holy Cross senior student assistant coach Jeffrey Reppucci from Newburyport, Mass. and Colgate senior Jocelyn Simpson from Shorewood, Ill.
The award will be presented on April 11 at the Frozen Four in Philadelphia, Pa.
A native of Marysville, Mich., Rogers serves as Notre Dame’s third goaltender and is known for his work off the ice in various facets of community service.
His story has become well known in the Michiana area. 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.
Recently, Rogers saw his biggest project of the year come to fruition.
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.
This season, for the weekend of Jan. 24-25, Rogers hosted members of Hockey Saves for Notre Dame’s series with Northeastern. Irish players wore specially designed jerseys – designed by Rogers – that were then available in an on-line auction with the proceeds going to Hockey Saves. This year’s jersey auction raised $17,942 that will benefit Hockey Saves. Members of the military group who traveled to Notre Dame for the weekend then had the chance to skate with Rogers and members of the Irish hockey team following the second game with Northeastern that weekend.
Rogers has been honored for his courage and work off the ice in the past.
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.