(NEW YORK) — A high school ice hockey player has died after sustaining a skate injury during a game, in what school officials called an “unimaginable tragedy.”
The accident occurred Thursday evening during a junior varsity game at Brunswick School, a preparatory school in Greenwich, Connecticut. The visiting team was from St. Luke’s, a prep school in New Canaan.
During the game, a St. Luke’s player fell to the ice and a Brunswick player unable to stop collided with him, police said.
“Game play was stopped and 911 was called,” Greenwich Police Department Captain Mark Zuccerella said in a statement.
The St. Luke’s player’s neck was cut by the skate blade, Brunswick school officials said in a letter sent to alumni Friday. The boy was treated by Brunswick medical staff before he was transported to a local hospital, but “tragically, he did not survive the operation,” Brunswick officials said.
The New Canaan Police Department identified the St. Luke’s student as sophomore Teddy Balkind.
“Teddy skated for the New Canaan Winter Club throughout his youth hockey career and was known to all as an all-around incredible young man, son and brother,” the department said on social media. “The men and women of the New Canaan Police Department offer our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers to the Balkind family and all of those impacted by this tragic incident.”
Brunswick officials described the game before the accident as “entirely normal and unremarkable.”
“We are devastated; an unimaginable tragedy,” Brunswick Head of School Thomas Philip said in a statement to ABC News. “I have, of course, met with the Head of School at St. Luke’s and have contacted the boy’s family to offer whatever help, support, or assistance we can during such a challenging time.”
St. Luke’s was closed Friday and did not hold any classes or after-school activities.
“Our community is mourning,” St. Luke’s Head of School Mark Davis said in a statement to ABC New York station WABC-TV Friday. “Yesterday, we lost a precious young man in a tragic accident. Both St. Luke’s School and Brunswick School are in shock as we work to support our students and families. St. Luke’s singular focus at this moment is to care for our devastated community.”
Brunswick officials said the school has arranged counseling and support for the hockey team as needed in the coming days.
The accident sent shockwaves throughout the heartbroken hockey community in Connecticut and beyond.
“We woke up this morning with the heaviest hearts after hearing of the tragic loss of one of New Canaan’s own,” New Canaan Hockey said on Twitter. “Teddy was a wonderful young man, always smiling, a terrific teammate. No words are adequate for the grief we are all feeling.”
The North Attleboro High School Hockey in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, called it an “incomprehensible loss of a young hockey player.”
“Our BIG RED HOCKEY family sends our thoughts, love and prayers to the St. Luke’s and Brunswick hockey communities,” the team said on Twitter.
ABC News’ Victoria Arancio, Will Reeve and Darron Reynolds contributed to this report.
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