CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio (WJW) – For nearly 10 years, Kenston senior Nate Linsz has been saving countless shots.
“I think I have a total of 637 saves,” Nate said. “I’ve been busy.”
“His white jersey is now black and white,” Kenston head coach Tom Moores said. “That’s good news. As a coach you want to see black marks (puck marks) on a jersey.”
But what makes Nate’s stats and accomplishments even more impressive, he’s doing that without his left hand.
“I was born without my left hand, and I use a prosthetic to help me play,” Nate added.
A custom-made prosthetic hand is secured to one of the arms of his chest protector. A clamp and bungee cord are then attached and looped through a hole in his stick.
“It is heavy but the more you play with it the more you get used to it and find ways to work around it,” Nate said.
“This year he had three shutouts in a row,” Moores said. “I’ve never seen that for a long, long time in the time I’ve been involved in hockey. It’s quite remarkable.”
Being born without his left hand has certainly created challenges for Nate throughout his life and in his hockey career.
“Learning to adapt has become a daily activity for me,” Nate said. “I get so used to it I don’t even realize I’m doing it.”
Nate has certainly found success on the ice between the pipes for the Kenston hockey team as the goalie. But his hobby off the ice is just as impressive.
“I play guitar, specifically thrash metal,” Nate laughed.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, Nate defies all odds. Like his hockey stick, Nate uses a prosthetic arm to play the guitar.
“It was sort of an evolution of sorts,” Nate added. “I started with a pick duct taped to my arm, but I realized I needed something more sturdy, so I went to the same people that made this prosthetic and they were able to make something to help me play guitar.”
No matter the hurdle on the ice or playing the guitar, Nate has never backed down from a challenge.
“There was a loud few that would tell me ‘I can do this’ and ‘I can’t do that’,” Nate said. “I was a stubborn child, so I used that as motivation to overcome and do a lot of things.”
“He proves what hard work can do,” Moores said. “If you set your mind to something, playing hockey for him, playing the guitar, doing really well in school, he doesn’t let outside influences bother him.”
No matter the number of goals he saves or the electric rifts he strums, Nate hopes he’s an inspiration to everyone.
“I’m hoping that people can take away from this that…. ‘Man, I can really do anything. If he can do this, then I can do it too.”