The Pierrefonds Barracudas U18 AA team is grappling with the loss of one of their own. Sixteen year-old Lucas Gaudet succumbed to his injuries after being stabbed in an altercation on Tuesday.
His teammates aged 15-17 and their coach gathered for the first time since his death with Global News Friday to remember a great teammate and an even greater friend.
“The fact that this happened to one of my best friends, maybe (someone) I’d call a brother, it hits you hard and it makes it harder to sleep because you’ve known him for such a while. He’s a good kid, he doesn’t deserve this,” said teammate Marc Ghafari.
Gaudet died after allegedly being stabbed during an altercation outside St. Thomas High School in Pointe-Claire Tuesday. He was a student at John Rennie High School, located roughly two kilometres from St. Thomas, or a five-minute drive.
“It’s very tragic. He was such a happy-go-lucky kid around the rink,” said Gaudet’s coach Manni Leo, before barely making out, “I’m speechless.”
“I’m still shocked by the news,” said teammate Nicholas Issa. “I don’t really know how to react.”
Gaudet’s coach and teammate say he took the game seriously and was working towards a career in the sport.
“Every day in the room, every drill, always put his heart out for the team,” said teammate Alex Chin.
Leo remembers Lucas as being “a great kid in the dressing room and on the ice. Always happy to come to hockey. Always had a big smile from one ear to the other ear.”
The team is already missing his presence. They say it’s going to be even more difficult entering the locker room without number 41.
“It won’t be the same without having that energy he brought to the room, that he brought to the team on and off the ice,” said teammate James Joly.
A crowdfunding campaign to help Gaudet’s family with funeral expenses raised $9,000 of its more than $10,000 goal on Friday night. The hashtag #sticksoutforLucas encourages people to leave a stick on their porch for the late player.
The Barracudas plan to honour him during their first game back with a decal on their helmets and Leo said they will start the first game back from the covid shutdown with a moment of silence.
The teenagers plan to lean on each other as they prepare to play their hearts out, just like Gaudet would.
“I know that when we’re going to play our games he’s going to be watching over us,” said Ghafari.