MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Wesleyan men's hockey team will celebrate and honor the life of former teammate Connor Albert with a ceremonial puck-drop on Friday, January 8th before its 7:00 p.m. game against Bowdoin. After battling with Osteosarcoma for 20 months, Connor tragically passed away in December of 2017 at the age of 10.
Connor joined the Wesleyan men's hockey team through Team IMPACT on January 20, 2017. Team IMPACT is an organization that focuses on improving the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team. Often referred to as "Captain Connor" due to his love of superheroes, Connor was an incredibly special part of the Wesleyan men's hockey team.
"Connor had a special way about him. He was in the fight for his life, yet when he was here at the rink, or when we visited him, he immediately made you forget his battle and reminded you that he was a 10-year-old boy looking to have fun," said head coach Chris Potter. "We took more from Connor than we gave him. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about him and I am looking forward to Friday night when we get to honor Connor and his strong spirit."
Connor still remains with the team in spirit, and his designated nameplate and stall in the team's locker room remains a constant reminder of his positive spirit and dedication to the team.
"Connor taught us how to remain positive in the face of adversity, always wearing a smile despite whatever challenges he was facing," said senior captain Chad Malinowski. "He taught us to stay united, because we play for something larger than ourselves. He brought us all together in ways we could not have imagined. The biggest lesson we learned from him was being thankful for the brotherhood we have around us and to remember to fight for one another every single day, just like Connor did for us."
On Friday evening, the night before what would have been Connor's 12th birthday, the team will faceoff against Bowdoin wearing the name "Albert" on the backs of their jerseys and his favorite number, 34, on the front of their chest.