It was a hockey game unlike any other for all that were there.
Cooper Nemeth’s hockey team, the River East Marauders, played their final regular season game Sunday night against the Lord Selkirk/Seven Oaks Rebels.
Nemeth went missing after leaving a house party in the morning hours of February 14. His body was found a week later.
Players from both teams made a circle around Nemeth’s jersey at centre ice before the game and held a minute of silence. Nemeth was made an honourary captain of his team and his jersey was hung behind the Marauders bench.
“It was a very touching moment for everyone. It really hits home when something like this happens,” says Marauders coach Barry Rochelle. “You see the different side of players when you’re dealing with tragedy like this. It’s really good to see but it’s just horrible that it takes something like this to do that.”
Rochelle says Nemeth was the life of the dressing room and the loss of a teammate is going to be tough to deal with for the AA midget players.
“It’s emotional in a lot of ways. My son was friends with him and plays on the team with him. You see it from all angles,” Rochelle explains. “There was never a dull moment, he kept them lively. That’s what the teams going to miss, the players, the coaches. It’s tough going forward.”
Nicholas Bell-Wright, 22, faces second-degree murder charges in connection with Nemeth’s death.