Tragedy on ice, IceCat hockey player dies Friday night

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    By Spencer Deery

    A freshmen IceCat hockey player passed away Friday night after he was struck in the chest by a puck during the second period of a game against Northern Colorado at the Peaks Ice Arena.

    With about 20 seconds remaining in the period forward Jaxon Logan, 18, of Palmer, Alaska, dove in front of a Colorado slap shot that hit him just below the shoulder pads. Doctors said the blow caused cardiac arrest and ultimately his death.

    ?I saw him go down to block the shot and he struggled to get back up,? said Julie Fox, a 20-year-old Canadian student who watched the game from the stands. ?He just really slowly started leaving, trying to make it to the bench. He made it a little over the wall and then just nosedived over.?

    Team athletic trainer Sara Beaudry said she immediately knew he was injured, but did not think most the fans and players realized the extent of his injury until minutes into the intermission.

    By the time the period had concluded, Logan had collapsed and lay in front of the benches, but behind the rink wall that separates the bench area from the ice. Beaudry said she immediately began an evaluation, contacting paramedics and performing CPR on Logan who lay out of sight to fans in the packed arena.

    Meanwhile, as the period drew to a close, most of the players went to the locker room where they had a team prayer before returning to the side of Logan.

    ?When I left the bench, I thought it was a concussion,? team captain Mark Ostebo said. ?That stuff happens all the time. You see a guy with a concussion and he usually wakes up ten seconds later. But when I came back from the locker room, that?s kind of where I thought it was a little more serious, and I saw he wasn?t breathing and they were doing CPR.?

    Back on the court, the announcer, still unaware of the serious nature of the injury, began leading the scheduled entertainment for the intermission. After he led the crowd in a ?Happy Birthday song,? IceCats goalie Tamio Stehrenberger skated to him and explained the seriousness of Logan?s condition. Moments later, the announcer explained over the microphone that Logan was not breathing and asked everyone to have a prayer in their heart for him.

    Silence immediately fell upon the crowd. For the next 15 minutes, fans in the near quiet stadium watched paramedics insert an IV, use a defibrillator and perform CPR. The emergency crew then raised Logan on a stretcher over the rink wall and out of the player?s bench area. Ostebo and Logan?s close friend and fellow freshman teammate, Ryan Newton, skated the stretcher across the ice to a waiting, nearby ambulance.

    At that point, an announcement was made that Logan was in cardiac arrest and they would forego the remaining third quarter. The game scheduled for Saturday evening was also cancelled.

    ?There is no word to describe the mood,? said team volunteer Rachael Crook, who watched from the stands. ?It?s far beyond my vocabulary. Everyone was worried, everyone was crying, and it didn?t even matter if they knew him.?

    With Logan on his way to the hospital, the team returned to the locker room, quickly showered, and followed him to the Emergency Room, Ostebo said.

    ?We were there probably ten minutes when Matt [head coach Matt Beaudry] told us they stopped resuscitation efforts,? he said. ?It was tough ? a lot of crying.?

    IceCats medical staff still await the results of an autopsy in Salt Lake but think the diagnosis is a rare injury called commotio cordis in which a blow to chest causes a heart arrithmea, then cardiac arrest, and usually death.

    Sara Beaudry said although extremely rare, the injury is most common in baseball and not unheard of in hockey.

    ?There wasn?t anything different that could have been done treatment wise, protective wise,? Beaudry said. ?We?ve been in conferences with doctors just verifying that we did everything we could but it was his time. There was nothing we could have done. The Lord said ?He?s mine now.??

    Logan came to BYU from Alaska, where he began playing organized hockey at the age of 7. His teammates describe him as strong, hardworking and a good student.

    ?Jaxon is one of the greatest persons I have ever met,? Newton said.

    Two of Logan?s best friends, fellow freshmen teammates Nathan Hymas and Newton, were extremely close, despite never having met before this fall semester. Their similar ages and circumstances brought them together.

    ?We came close because we were all in the process of filling out our [mission] papers,? said Newton, who said he believes Logan planned to turn his papers in this February.

    Newton was one of the first players to realize his friend had collapsed. He immediately found Hymas and told him that Logan was injured.

    ?When he went down, I saw his eyes roll back in his head and I knew that he wasn?t going to make it,? Hymas said. ?At first it was hard and I was freaking out, but I immediately just felt peace, and as I put everything together, everything just made sense. Jaxon was one of those people who was too good to live in the world we live in today. He deserved to go home and serve the Lord in other places.?

    From the moment he realized Logan was hurt to when he personally escorted him across the ice, Hymas never left Logan.

    ?I couldn?t leave his side,? Hymas said. ?I knew this was it and I just wanted to watch him go to the Lord, and let him know I support him in everything he does.?

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