The River East Marauders AA hockey team will skate into playoffs this weekend without one of their teammates.

After an exhaustive search for missing teen Cooper Nemeth, a player on the Marauders team, his body was discovered Saturday night in a recycling bin at a Valley Gardens home.

It was the same area where the 17-year-old was last seen leaving a party a week earlier.

Nemeth was loved by teammates, according to team captain Taylor Engel.  

"He was such a good kid,” said Engel. “Everybody loved him; he was the life of the party. He was always making everyone smile. He was a great guy."

The two boys were also close friends off the ice.

Engel said it’s been difficult for players to return to the rink following news of Nemeth's death.  

"We want to do it for Cooper.  That's why we played last Sunday...we know he'd be watching us,” said Engel. “He'd be looking down on us and he'd be making jokes if he was there trying to cheer everyone up.”

Playoffs start on Saturday and the Marauders will take the ice with heavy hearts and with Cooper in their thoughts.

“We know Cooper would want us to kick a-- and just go out there and do our best. He'd be happy either way," he said.

Winnipeg police have charged 22-year-old Nicholas Bell-Wright with second-degree murder in connection to Nemeth’s death.