Hockey players hit the ice in memory of Jordan Boyd
Published Friday, October 11, 2013 6:33PM ADT
For almost 20 years, the Bedford & District Minor Hockey Association has been holding a Peewee AAA tournament to kick off each new season.
The puck drops again on Friday, and this time the players are remembering a young man who embodied everything good about the game.
On August 12th, 16-year-old budding hockey star Jordan Boyd took the ice for his first practice as a member of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
Just two minutes later, his young life was over. Preliminary autopsy results suggest he may have died from an undiagnosed heart problem, but his family has yet to receive the final results.
The teen may be gone, but he is certainly not forgotten. His hometown of Bedford, N.S. is celebrating his life with the Jordan Boyd Memorial Tournament.
"Jordan's a pretty humble guy, but he would think this was pretty cool. He'd have a big smile on his face," says Jordan’s dad Stephen.
A glass case inside the BMO Centre now displays Jordan’s jerseys and memorabilia from his playing days.
It brings back bittersweet memories for his father.
"When I look to the right here, it's just remarkable how much he grew in the last two or three years, not only as a hockey player, but as a young man. He really matured and grew into a nice young man," says Stephen.
Heather Baltzer is the administrator for Jordan’s former major bantam team, the Bedford Barons. She remembers a Christmas shopping trip she made with Jordan. He volunteered to pick out gifts for an underprivileged family.
"It was really special because his primary concern, even though she had six kids, was for the mother. She didn't ask for anything, but it showed a true testimony of his character because he wanted to make sure she had something in her Christmas stocking,” says Baltzer.
Two months after his passing, teammate and buddy Nick McFarlane says the loss of his friend isn’t getting easier, but being at the tournament brings back great memories.
"We were always on the same line in this tournament and had some great times. I think we won one year,” says McFarlane.
Jordan has three cousins playing in the tournament this weekend - two from Saint John and one from Dartmouth.
“It’s a real honour to have them down here playing in this tournament and they’re really excited about it. In fact, I think they are all wearing number 17, Jordan’s number,” says Stephen.
Last month, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan unveiled a banner of Jordan that now hangs in the K.C. Irving Centre. His family was there to be a part of the tribute and Stephen says they’ve been touched by the overwhelming support from the hockey community across Atlantic Canada.
"It's helped us through this tragedy so far and it will continue to give us some comfort. As you can imagine, it's been a very difficult time for us," says Stephen.
A banner of Jordan will be unveiled at the tournament’s opening ceremonies and his mom Debbie will drop the ceremonial first puck.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Jayson Baxter
Jordan Boyd, 16, collapsed and died on the ice during his first day of training camp with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in August 2013.