Connecticut high school hockey player dies after fall on ice

A Connecticut high school student died Thursday after being seriously injured in a college junior ice hockey game, officials said, leaving his team and the school community in shock over his death.

The injury occurred when 10th grade student Teddy Balkind fell on the ice during a game between two private schools in Fairfield County.

After Mr Balkind fell, another player could not slow down and hit him. Officials said Mr Balkind’s neck was cut by the other player’s skate.

Gambling was immediately stopped and staff called 911, police said. Mr Balkind was treated on site before being taken to hospital, but he did not survive the operation, school officials said.

His death caused waves of shock and grief throughout Southwest Connecticut.

Both schools – St. Luke’s School in New Canaan and Brunswick School in Greenwich – mourned what authorities called “an unimaginable tragedy.” Local and professional hockey players offered their condolences and paid tribute to Mr. Balkind.

“Our community is in mourning,” said Mark Davis, principal of the St. Luke’s school, where Mr. Balkind was a student, in a statement. “We lost a precious young man in a tragic accident. St. Luke School and Brunswick School are in shock as we work to support our students and their families. St. Luke’s singular goal at this time is to take care of our devastated community.

His hockey program wrote on Twitter that “no word is adequate for the grief we all feel.”

The game started around 5 p.m. and the gameplay was “completely normal and unremarkable” before the crash, Brunswick School officials said in a letter to the elders.

Mr. Balkind was a longtime ice hockey player, often wearing the number 5 on his jersey and skating for the New Canaan Winter Club. He had attended St. Luke’s, a private institution with grades 5 to 12, from college, where he was once recognized for creating the school’s “work of art of the week”.

pictures on him public Instagram page tells the story of a teenager in love with nature and sport. Videos showed him mountain biking and jumping over branches on trails in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. One image showed him celebrating a state championship with his hockey team.

The most recent photo, published on October 5, showed him cycling in a mountain park. Underneath, nearly 1,000 people left comments filled with hearts and messages of “RIP” and “Rest easy, mate.”

Mr Balkind’s family could not be reached for comment on Saturday. School officials said in statements his father was in the audience at the game and went to hospital with him.

Clark Jones, director of hockey at the New Canaan Winter Club, called Mr. Balkind a positive presence on the team and said the community was deeply gripped by the loss.

“We have lost a wonderful young man,” Mr Jones said wrote on Twitter Friday. “Always smiling, a great teammate and an avid hockey player.”

St. Luke’s was closed due to snow on Friday, but school officials told students the building would be opened to provide community members with a space to deal with the death.

Officials at Brunswick School, the private boys-only school and the host of Thursday’s game, said in messages to students that counseling and support services would be in place for hockey players.

After Mr. Balkind’s death was confirmed in local reports, families and community members in New Canaan tilted hockey sticks and other sports equipment next to their door frames and on their porches in his memory.

The news also reached the National Hockey League. Cam Atkinson, a Philadelphia Flyers right winger, shared a photo for participating in the commemoration on social media, writing that he was heartbroken for the family. “A horrible tragedy playing the game we all love,” he said.

The league and other teams, including the New York Rangers, have also sent messages to Mr Balkind’s family.

“While it is difficult to express in words the impact of such a loss, know that our thoughts, prayers and hearts are with you. ” the Rangers wrote on Twitter.

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