Winnipeg hockey players pay special tribute to Cooper Nemeth
The jersey of Cooper Nemeth was hung behind his team's bench at Sunday night's game.
Beth Macdonell, CTV Winnipeg
Published Sunday, February 21, 2016 10:22PM CST
Two hockey teams held a special tribute for 17-year-old Cooper Nemeth at Seven Oaks Arena Sunday evening.
The grade 12 student was a well-known hockey player in the city, Nemeth played right-wing and centre.
A game between Nemeth’s team, the River East Marauders, and Lord Selkirk/Seven Oaks Rebels went ahead on the same day police confirmed Nemeth’s deceased body was found in the Valley Gardens area.
Spectators cheered on the AA midget players from both teams as they lined up on the ice.
Players then shook hands, before laying Nemeth’s jersey at centre ice, making a circle around it, and taking part in a minute of silence.
“It was a long minute,” said a man who identified himself as a friend, and someone who worked with the Marauders, “the place was quiet for three-four minutes,” he continued.
Parents in the stands described Nemeth as a good kid and a good hockey player.
Many parents told CTV the Sunday evening tribute, and the news of the 17-year-old's death is still “too emotional”, and “too raw” to talk about.
One parent with a son playing on Cooper’s team told CTV he thought it was important the game went ahead, adding it was the last game the team would play before next weekend’s playoffs.
“As a parent, I think this was good for the boys, and it’s helping them cope with the loss of their teammate,” said the father who did not want to give his name.
“They're playing it through, I’m sure that’s what Cooper would have wanted,” he said.
Just before the game began, Nemeth’s jersey was then hung behind his team’s bench.