Captain of Junior Hockey Team Dies at Tournament Arena 

The Ayr Centennials junior hockey team announced Wednesday morning that their captain had passed away the night before. Vice President Brian Shantz released a statement on behalf of the Ayr Centennials, saying, “The Centennials are devastated to announce that our captain Eli Palfreyman passed away last night.”

“We are asking for your prayers and support for Eli’s family and each of our players. Our Centennials organization and the community of Ayr are in mourning.” He attributes the positive response from Waterloo’s paramedics to the team’s outreach to medical professionals and grief counselors. “Eli had the best of care from our medical staff and quick response from the ambulatory staff,” Shantz wrote.

“Medical doctors will have more answers for us in the coming days. Out of respect for the family’s right for privacy we will not speculate on anything at this very difficult time. Cen’s nation also needs time to heal during this devastating time.”

Five days before he passed away, Palfreyman was named team captain. The previous year, the native of Cambridge had served as the team’s assistant captain. The township of North Dumfries said that Palfreyman died during the game and that flags will be flown at half-mast.

“Last evening at the North Dumfries Community Complex, during a game at the Ayr Mutual Global Invitational tournament, the @AyrCentennials suffered the tragic loss of one of their players,” the township wrote. “The flags at the North Dumfries Community Complex have been lowered to half-mast.”

The Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League website indicated that the Centennials would face off against the Boston Jr. Bruins at the North Dumfries Community Complex at 7 p.m. This battle was fierce as part of the Ayr Farmers Mutual Global Invitational Tournament. Games scheduled on Wednesday, the tournament’s final day, have been postponed.


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“The GOJHL has postponed all exhibition games for today and tomorrow,” the league wrote in a Twitter post. “The decision comes as a result of a medical incident that occurred yesterday at the North Dumfries Community Centre. We will provide more information at a later date.”

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