Local hockey community shaken by sudden death of young player
Published Friday, November 11, 2011 6:07PM MST
The Sherwood Park hockey community has been rocked by the sudden and unexplained death of one of their star hockey players.
Eighteen-year-old Patrick Steel grew up in Sherwood Park, and had just recently moved away from home to play hockey in Canmore.
Steel had joined the Canmore Eagles team, and was playing his first year of Junior A hockey, in the hopes of earning a scholarship in the United States.
"He had tremendous potential and [he was] a guy who would light up a room when he walked in," Coach of the Canmore Eagles Andrew Milne said. "[He was] an extremely personable and fun-loving guy."
"He did everything an elite athlete does," Manny Schmidt, Steel's agent, and the spokesperson for the family said. "It's hard to understand."
What's hard to understand is how the active teenager died so unexpectedly.
On Tuesday, Steel reportedly left hockey practice early saying he wasn't feeling well, he returned to his billet's house in Canmore to lay down for a nap, but never woke up.
An autopsy has been scheduled to determine how the teen died.
With such a shocking loss there's no doubt the family, along with the community, is devastated.
"It was shocking, totally shocking," Steel's former hockey coach, Dan St. Jacques said.
The Alberta Junior Hockey League distributed a press release Thursday, expressing their condolences in Steel's death.
"This is something in their wildest dreams they could never have imagined," Schmidt said.
"Honestly, [they're] still trying to come to terms that an amazing boy, a young man, is no longer with us,
"It's not right."
With files from Susan Amerongen