Ice hockey is known for being a very intense and physical sport. Tragedies both on and off the ice have rocked the hockey community around the world. The latest comes out of Connecticut where St. Luke’s junior varsity player and sophomore Teddy Balkind died after an injury during a game at Brunswick School on Thursday.
Greenwich police said Balkind, a student and player from the visiting team of St. Luke’s, a preparatory school in New Canaan, fell to the ice during Thursday’s game. A player from Brunswick School, a prep school in Greenwich, was unable to stop and collided with Balkind. According to a letter from Brunswick School, the player’s skate accidentally cut Balkind’s neck during normal hockey play as described by witnesses.
Mark Zuccerella, Captain of the Greenwich Police Department, said that “gameplay was stopped and 911 was called.” Brunswick medical staff treated Balkind prior to being transported to a local hospital, where “tragically, he did not survive the operation.”
St. Luke’s Head of School Mark Davis canceled Friday’s classes to honor the sophomore and allow the community to grieve. “Our community is mourning. 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,” he told News12.
The flag at the school was also at half-staff today.
Brunswick Head of School Thomas W. Philip said they are “saddened beyond words,” adding, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the boy, the players and coaches on both teams, the entirety of the St Luke’s School community, and our own students and families. Tragedies such as this are hard to process and impossible to understand. We will do all we can in the coming days and weeks to help and support those in our community and in the St. Luke’s community. We ask that everyone say a prayer for the boy, his family, and all those impacted by this horrible accident.”
Support and counseling have been arranged and offered to the team, Brunswick officials say.
Philadelphia Flyers forward and Greenwich native Cam Atkinson tweeted with the hashtag “SticksOutForTeddy” saying he is “heartbroken” over the tragedy.
I’m heartbroken for the Balkind family and everyone who knew and loved Teddy. We’re sending our love to the St. Luke’s and Brunswick communities. A horrible tragedy playing the game we all love #sticksoutforteddy pic.twitter.com/SkvoZhiFqY
— Cam Atkinson (@CamAtkinson89) January 7, 2022
In addition to playing, Balkind was a mentor for the Southern Connecticut Storm, a hockey program for kids and young adults with developmental disabilities.
We woke up this morning with the heaviest hearts after hearing of the tragic loss of one of New Canaan’s own. Teddy was a wonderful young man, always smiling, a terrific teammate. No words are adequate for the grief we are all feeling. Our prayers are with Teddy and his family
— New Canaan Hockey (@NCPuck) January 7, 2022
NoVa Caps sends our condolences to the family and teammates of Teddy Balkind and to the communities of New Canaan and Greenwich.
By Della Young