Hockey is the driving force for an Admirals player and his family after tragedy

Posted at 12:22 AM, Jan 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-12 07:29:40-05

Ty and Bo Reichenbach (Courtesy: Scott Fleishman)

NORFOLK, Va. - It all started in the basement for Ty Reichenbach and his brother Bo.

"We'd throw together some pillows, some baseball catch gloves and a menagerie of goal-tending equipment," Ty told News 3. "He'd be down there ripping pucks on me in the basement."

Hockey has been a foundation of the Reichenbach family. For Ty, a Norfolk Admirals goaltender, and Bo, those basement shootouts forged a bond. "Over the years, it was just something that stuck," Reichenbach said. "Our closest bond is through hockey."

Bo would later trade in his ice skates and hockey jersey for a new challenge: becoming a member of the U.S. Navy, and eventually a Navy Seal.

Bo Reichenbach for Team USA.

Every month, for 30 minutes, Ty and Bo would talk about countless topics. But when one month went by with no call, Ty knew something was up.

While in Afghanistan, Bo had stepped on an improvised explosive device. Less than a day later, he had lost his left leg, part of his right leg, and lost some hearing in both ears.

"Trying to picture that, every other day they're telling you another surgery, another inch is off, it's hard to picture that in your mind when it's so close to your family."

Bo lost limbs, but not his competitive edge. Less than three months later, he was playing with the Team USA Paralympic sled hockey team. He never lost his skills either.

In 2016, Bo went on to win a Silver medal at the World Championships with Team USA.

Bo Reichenbach for Team USA.

"I sit there and I look at it, and I'm like, wow," Ty said. "You've got to cover a lot more net than I do."

That's why every time Ty steps in the crease, he leaves it all on the ice -- just like his brother did for his country.

"All the guys serving in the military, and what he's lost and the sacrifices that he's made, and we're out here complaining about this," Reichenbach said. "Life ain't so bad."

ODU Ice Hockey and Regent University will play at 1:00 p.m. ahead of the Admirals contest against the Orlando Solar Bears later that night. Tickets are $17 and will benefit the Wounded Warriors Project.