The Clarenville Area Minor Hockey Association says it is heartbroken to learn of the tragic death of a young player from the community, and is doing what it can to help the family.
A 10-year-old boy died Christmas Day after the side-by-side he was a passenger in broken through the ice on a small gully in the town. His father was driving and survived.
He was a student at Riverside Elementary and was part of the minor hockey association. The school opened up on Boxing Day for counselling services.
"It was not a good scene to witness, I can assure you that," said Clarenville Mayor Frazer Russell, who said the children are in a deep state of grief.
The minor hockey association said its main focus is to support the boy's family.
"We also have to support our young players, teammates and our first responders who are not only members of the fire department, RCMP, paramedics, search and rescue but are also our association's hockey coaches, referees, volunteers and hockey parents."
People from across Newfoundland and Labrador have placed hockey sticks outside their doors to honour the boy — a gesture similar to that done across Canada after the 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash.
"CAMHA is overwhelmed by the show of support from across our province and across Canada for this family by putting sticks outside by their doors."
A town in mourning
The child was rushed to hospital as soon as he was removed from the water. He was pronounced dead around 7 p.m.
Russell said the spot where the accident occurred is a small body of water that's popular for skating and ice hockey.
"There was no reason to suspect there was an imminent danger in the ice," he said.
"In the summer you look at it and there's low water in it."
The boy's death has shaken the town of about 6,300 people, which is located 190 kilometres away from St. John's.
"You have a devastated family and you also, of course, have a grief-stricken group of young people."
The hockey association is accepting donations on behalf of the boy's family, and anyone looking to contribute is asked to send an email.