Gage and Lisa Moldovan (Photo by Paul Chaplin for Our York Media)

Lisa and Gage Moldovan: Finding an outlet on the ice

The York Polar Bears gave Lisa Moldovan’s son Gage a passion for hockey, a place for his energy and are helping him find his voice.

Written by: Anthony Machcinski
Gage and Lisa Moldovan (Photo by Paul Chaplin for Our York Media)

Gage Moldovan can’t sit still for more than a few minutes and not just because he’s a 10-year-old boy.

At an early age, doctors diagnosed him with ADHD and ODD, a pair of disorders that make it difficult to pay attention and control impulsive behaviors.

Three years ago, though, his parents took him to a hockey game at the York Ice Arena, and Gage did something they could hardly believe: he stayed in his seat and watched the whole game.

“He loved it so much that he went home, got his biggest cars, put them under his feet and tried to skate around the house,” his mother Lisa remembers.

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Lisa later signed Gage up for the Learn To Skate program, which soon lead him to the York Polar Bears, a nonprofit special needs hockey team that uses the sport to encourage friendships, teamwork and dependability for people with developmental disabilities.

This is more than a team; it’s a family.

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Lisa Moldovan

Gage took to the ice and has wowed his parents ever since.

“It’s his niche,” Lisa says. “He was only skating for a couple months and people were shocked. Now he brags about skating better than his parents.”

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Gage has had a blast with the York Polar Bears: He’s played with the team in Pittsburgh and State College and has played games at the Giant Center in Hershey and the PPL Center in Allentown and practiced with the Hershey Bears. This April, he’ll travel with the team for a tournament in Rochester.

While Gage loves hockey, it’s what’s happening off the ice that means the most.

He developed selective mutism a few years ago that sometimes makes him growl at adults he doesn’t know. But with the York Polar Bears, Gage has open conversations with coaches and other parents.

“He’s really changed,” Lisa says. “He’s grown by being on the Polar Bears. This is more than a team; it’s a family.”

Click here to learn more about the York Polar Bears

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