Written by Jared Miller:
Hanna Gootee loves hockey. For one, she gets to follow in her dad’s footsteps and two she loves the passion that people involved in the sport have for the game. But not only for the game, for the community that is brought together for a common love. That is how Hanna found Dawg Nation. Hanna was diagnosed with cancer late in 2021.
After playing in their Survivor Game in 2022, she was quickly welcomed into this Dawg Nation community with open arms. Her hockey team in Eagle, Colorado connected with Marty Richardson and put on a huge hockey fundraiser event this past fall to help cover her medical expenses. Hanna’s community and beyond showed up to play some hockey, auction their items, and have a weekend to remember how precious every moment is. She even got to play with former Bruins and Avalanche player, John-Michael Liles. “This day changed a lot for me.” Hanna said.
Since becoming a part of Dawg Nation, Hanna has gotten some financial help, invited to the Avalanche Hockey Fights Cancer night and is getting ready to make her second appearance in the Dawg Nation Survivor Game.
When asked about playing in her second Survivor Game, Hanna said, “This year’s Dawg Bowl is special to me, because Patrick, who was waiting for a transplant for far too long, supported me and came out to my event, regardless of the state of his health.” This will be Patrick’s first time back on the ice since his heart transplant in April of 2023.
Outside of hockey, Hanna works primarily with court-involved youth and has spent the majority of her career working with gang-involved and incarcerated individuals. The obstacles that they continue to overcome with nothing but hope in sight inspires me every day.
“We don’t always have to know what’s out there for us, but we do have to have enough faith to believe that life will bring good things our way,” Hanna said.
The 13th annual DAWG Bowl tournament will be held June 21-25, 2023 at the Edge Ice Arena in Littleton, Colorado. The Survivor Game will be on Saturday, June 24 at 2:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.