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HomeArticlesCanadian Hockey Player Eli Palfreyman, 20, Loses Life During Game

Canadian Hockey Player Eli Palfreyman, 20, Loses Life During Game

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The rising Canadian star junior hockey player Eli Palfreyman, who captains the Ayr Centennials in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, died on Tuesday night in the locker room during a preseason game in Ontario.

“The happiest day in Eli’s life was when he was named captain and he said you cannot take a shift off the rest of the year because Eli’s spirit will be pushing you to do your best every shift, and I want to see it,” Eli Palfreyman’s father Per Shantz told his Centennials teammates the day after his son’s untimely demise. He was only 20 years old.

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According to CBC, the Cambridge, Ontario native collapsed at the time of the first intermission of the Ayr Centennials’ preseason tournament game at the North Dumfries Community Complex. Emergency officials were not able to bring back the star.

A community in Canada is grieving the death of a beloved ice hockey player who died during a tournament after collapsing.

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The player’s mother rushed to the changing room. The trainer of the team carries on chest compressions. By that time, his pulse had become faint, and he was put in an ambulance and taken to a local hospital. Soon after that, he died.

Shantz said an emotional meeting, “Then the mother spoke and, you know, the tears were just flowing everywhere when a grieving mother speaks about her son. And instead of going inward, she just talked about us and everything that we did. She was there, she saw it and she just praised us. She said, ‘I know how hard you worked to save Eli.'”

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The Centennials, who called off their Wednesday night match, posted a photo of Palfreyman on their Facebook, writing, “We love you Eli” with a red heart emoji.”

On Thursday, the team added a statement that read, “Thank you for the outpouring love and support for our beloved Captain and beautiful young man Eli. Words cannot describe how much it means to his family and our Ayr Centennials Family. We are all broken but feel your arms around us #RIP17.”

The Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, which the Centennials play under, went on to share kind words on the loss, stating that they are “devastated to hear of the passing of 20-year-old Eli Palfreyman, Captain of the Ayr Centennials. He was participating in the inaugural Ayr Farmers Mutual Global Invitation tournament.”

Commissioner Brent Garbutt added, “The GOJHL and all member teams would like to extend our deepest condolences to Eli’s family, friends, his teammates, and the entire Centennials organization. This is an unexplainable tragedy, and no words can ease the pain everyone involved is feeling.”

The league would be offering grief and mental health counseling to the Centennials and other teams shared Garbutt, adding that a game set for Thursday was also canceled.

“League members are discussing ways to remember Eli as we progress through the 2022-23 season,” said the commissioner.

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