Students and staff at MacEwan University are mourning the loss of a student who was a member of the Griffins men’s hockey team. Nakehko Lamothe died following a game in Calgary Friday night.
A spokesperson for the University said Lamothe became unwell after playing in the game and was rushed to Foothills Hospital where he passed away shortly before midnight. The Griffins were playing against SAIT.
“It’s difficult to comprehend the pain Nakehko’s family is going through right now,” said Dr. Deborah Saucier, MacEwan University president, after speaking with Lamothe’s family.
“We will do whatever we can to assist them during this tragic time.”
Lamothe was in the middle of his third season with the Griffins, after joining the program out of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s La Ronge Ice Wolves in 2016.
David Beharry, a spokesperson for the University, said Lamothe played a vital role with the Griffins helping the team to win back-to-back Alberta Colleges Athletic Association (ACAC) titles in 2017 and 2018.
Lamothe was also a student in the Bachelor of Science program. He grew up on the Bigstone Cree Nation near Calling Lake.
“He was extremely proud of his Indigenous heritage and took the same passion and enthusiasm he demonstrated as a player and applied them to becoming a role model for Indigenous youth,” added Beharry.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and teammates. The university is putting support services in place to help them through this difficult time,” Saucier added.
The Griffins’ hockey game scheduled for Saturday night has been cancelled.
There’s no word on what caused Lamothe’s death.