Play for Patrick
Shots are fired at Essentia Health Sports Center during hockey practice today; however, those same shots paused, when Patrick Schoonover died suddenly on the ice. And although they weren’t teammates, Brainerd Hockey players and coaches are “Playing for Patrick” this season by hanging a banner in the arena, and wearing decals on their helmets.
“It means a lot. I mean it shows that I really care, and it shows that everyone on my team really cares” said 15 year old Brainerd Hockey player Jack Evans, “we all have it, and we all really feel bad and hope the family is doing okay.”
Although the loss of Patrick was sudden, the team knows that life must go on and the best way to honor him is to continue playing.
Brainerd Bantam AA Head Coach Jake Brandt said, “it’s just about going out, playing the game we love, and knowing we can’t take everything for granted. Every morning we get here, or every night we have an opportunity to play the game we love with our friends. And also the fact that we’re here for one another and there’s bigger things in life than just hockey.”
Even though players were nervous about getting back on the ice for the first time since the accident, they know this year has a much more meaningful purpose; which brings them, as well as the hockey world, together.
Evans then went on to say “it was really scary, actually, I was nervous to get back on the ice after that.” He also said “But we don’t want to lose one another, we don’t want that to happen to anyone on our team and if that did, I don’t really know how I’d be able to handle it.” He finished in saying “I guess it’s just really sad, I mean it brought us together, and I don’t really know how.”