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'Shift change': Hockey equipment company based in New Hampshire now making medical face shields in response to COVID-19

'Right now, we're all on the same team' BAUER Hockey tweeted Wednesday. The company is making face masks to help medical professionals battling COVID-19.

EXETER, N.H. — In the sport of hockey, it's called a "shift-change" when players return to the bench to allow their teammates to take the ice. 

It's the process of trading one line of forwards or defense for another. A new effort by an Exeter, New Hampshire based hockey equipment company includes trading one type of face shield for another. This could be the ultimate "shift-change."

In a tweet Wednesday, the hockey equipment company BAUER Hockey announced it is re-purposing its facilities to make face shields for medical professionals battling COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

"Right now we're all on the same team," the tweet said.

"We're indebted to all medical personnel and first responders who are risking their own safety to keep the rest of us safe," the company also tweeted.

Many of the employees across the U.S. and Canada have family members who work in health care, and they had this idea. From concept to creation, the process only took a matter of days.

"We were able to create a prototype and do several iterations of that testing for functionality and also safety with people directly in the health care industry to make sure that the prototype you know met all the standards," said Mary-Kay Messier, VP of Global Marketing for Bauer. "So from start to finish from the brainstorming cycle through the prototypes to actually manufacturing was about 4 days."

Already the company has made 100,000 units in Canada. 

The manufacturing facility in Syracuse, New York is beginning production now.

Already, medical professionals are inquiring about how to obtain the face shields. More information can be found on the company's website.

Cascade Sports is the parent company of BAUER Hockey and Easton Baseball.

Messier said she hopes this encourages other companies to follow suit if capable.

"We are really coming together to support our greater communities and fight this global pandemic."

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