(WIVB)– Attorneys for young hockey players in Western New York are filing a lawsuit to get the kids back on the ice.

They’re challenging Governor Andrew Cuomo’s COVID-19 restrictions.

“We are all running around doing what we are told by a king that is actually supposed to be a governor because of an executive order.”

Corey Hogan, HoganWillig Attorneys

The HoganWillig law firm announced the first of three lawsuits they are filing against Governor Cuomo and the State Health Department trying to put the breaks on the governor’s COVID-19 restrictions, which they say are doing more harm than good.

The first of the lawsuits are aimed at getting thousands of young hockey players out of the penalty box as youth hockey has been shut down since last March.

“All over the country these sports are taking place without any negative impact, in terms of the safety of either the kids, the coaches, the players, or anybody else in their families,” said Attorney Corey Hogan.

Attorney Corey Hogan says the state’s own figures show the science, the contact tracing is not following youth sports it is following other activities.

For young hockey handlers and parents it is hard to take.

“It is very difficult to listen to parents to parents call and say, ‘My son is in his bedroom, his head is against the wall, and he is just despondent,'” said Janice Cavaretta of the WNY Amateur Hockey League.

Dr. Michael Santa Maria is a neuropsychologist, he is also a father, and says while most other states allow youth hockey, New York is among the few that don’t and it is heartbreaking.

“Kids who have not been in school, kids who have not had their level of fitness and socialization, I just hear it again and again and again, so much more than I had. Stress, anxiety, depression, behavior issues, it has very much increased.”

Michael Santa Maria

Hogan says the governor’s hockey restrictions are off side.

“Provide us with the proof and that is what lawsuits do, they force the other side to come up with the proof. I am telling you, there is none, and the proof that exists, they are backing off of,” said Attorney Corey Hogan.

Al Vaughters is an award-winning investigative reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 1994. See more of his work here. To submit a Call 4 Action, click here.