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Students and hockey players at a school in Conneticut have paid tribute to a 10th grader who died in an accident at a game by leaving hockey sticks outside their front doors.
Teddy Balkind, a student at St Luke’s School in New Canaan, was taking part in a game on Thursday against Brunswick School when he was fatally injured.
Police Capt Mark Zuccerella was reported as saying that another player was unable to stop and collided with Teddy on the ice at a game in Greenwich, about 40 miles south west of New Haven.
Students at Brunswick School were reportedly told that Teddy’s neck was accidentally cut by a skate, and that his father had been attending the game and rushed to aide his son.
He was transferred to a nearby hospital in Greenwich and later died, with the head of Brunswick School, Thomas Philip, telling reporters “We are devastated, [It is] an unimaginable tragedy”.
The head of St Lukes School, Mark Davis, said in a statement seen that “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.”
The statement to students was seen by CBS 2 News on Friday, with St Lukes School closed to students following the tragedy.
People meanwhile shared tributes to Teddy on Twitter and called on others to put hockey sticks outside their homes and doors as an act of remembrance, using the hashtag “SticksOutForTeddy”.
Social media users in Connitecut as well as the National Hockey League were among those to take part, with the sporting body tweeting that Teddy’s death had been “too soon”.
“The National Hockey League mourns the tragic passing of Teddy Balkind, a member of the hockey family lost too soon,” said the national league. “Our prayers most heartfelt condolences go out to his family, his St Lukes teammates and his friends.”
The Bridgeport Islanders, who play 30 miles away from Greenwich in the National Hockey League, tweeted that “Our local community and the entire hockey world is hurting over the unimaginable loss of Teddy Balkind this week”.
The hockey side also shared images of hockey sticks and said: “Our prayers and most heartfelt condolences are with his family, his many friends, and his St Luke’s teammates and opponents.”
Many of those who shared tributes to Teddy said they were from hockey playing families, with one parent saying their “older son played hockey on teams at the New Canaan Winter Club with Teddy.”
“He was a kind boy with a great sense of humour from a wonderful family.”