Taylor made for the game
Hockey a great outlet for autistic Placentia youth
The players on the bench get lost sometimes.
Everyone is paying so much attention to what is on the ice that sometimes they forget to look at the bench to see what’s going on. They see the slick skating and crisp passing or maybe that big save by their team’s goaltender, but rarely do they see that one player on the bench who tries to get the rest of his teammates going.
If they have a bad shift, he’s there to try and lift them up. If they miss a scoring chance, he’s there to tell them they’ll score the next time.
Every team has them and every team needs them. For the Placentia Intertown Lions midget B team, that player is Taylor Hann.
The 17-year-old is a third-year midget with the Lions team. He also has autism, turrets syndrome and attention deficit hyperactive disorder. This past Saturday was World Autism Awareness Day.
That can be a lot to deal with, but when he’s on the ice, Taylor is just one of the boys. On the ice he’s a whirling dervish of a player.
He relentlessly chases the puck from one end of the ice to the other. It’s a dogged attitude that endears him to his teammates. On the bench, he’s the first one to bang his stick off the boards in celebration.
“The boys are fun to talk too,” said Taylor.
He’s been involved in hockey for the last three years. It was a shock when Taylor told his mother he wanted to get involved in the sport.
After exploring some funding options, Taylor was signed up and ready to go.
“It’s good (to see him out there). I’m so happy for him,” said Anna Marie. “He loves it. He loves the hockey.”
Some people might be limited by autism. That’s not Taylor.
He doesn’t let that stop him or hold him back. Taylor is as outgoing at the rink as he is when he’s moving through the halls of Laval High School in Placentia.
There, he’s just as likely to cover his face in red and gold face paint in support of the basketball team.
During his tournament at the Bay Arena, Taylor bounced from group to group. One period he was making musical selections in the booth above the timekeepers box, while another he was sat amongst players from the Labrador West team.
A moment later, he’s in the timekeepers box itself making sure everything is running smoothly.
“I like making new friends,” he said. “It’s fun.”
Anna Marie beams when she talks about Taylor and what he’s accomplished by just putting himself in the situation to be the glue guy on a hockey team.
A smile explodes across her face when she converses about the friends he’s made and experiences he’s had because of it. She’s saddened a bit that it’s his last year, but that quickly goes away.
“I’m really proud of him,” she said.
Placentia’s Taylor Hann is a ball of energy when he’s at the rink.