MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The family of 14-year-old Patrick Schoonover revealed how the young hockey player died on Sunday during his younger brother’s pee wee hockey game.
Patrick’s father, Mike Schoonover, said Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office told him his son died of an undetected heart defect.READ MORE: Minneapolis Restaurants Sue City, Frey Over Vaccine Requirement
On Sunday night, Patrick’s younger brother, Matthew, and his Eastview Lightning team won a game against an Eagan team.
Mike, who coaches Matthew’s team, said it was important for the family to go to the game because it was Matthew’s 12th birthday.
“I asked Matthew if he wanted to play and he said ‘absolutely,’ so it was good for him, good for me, good for all of us and for our team,” Schoonover said.
Hundreds of supporters filled Hayes Arena in Apple Valley to watch the game. Supporters made signs for the family and several players taped over their jersey names and wrote Schoonover’s name, instead.READ MORE: Woman Killed In St. Paul's 4th Homicide Of 2022
Matthew wore his older brother’s jersey – No. 96 – to pay a special tribute.
“He would have loved this,” Mike said. “He was probably jealous of his little brother that he gets a real big crowd.”
The family said it is overwhelmed and thankful for the public support that has poured in over the weekend.
“We’ve been touched by so many people. It’s amazing the reach that this game has and how kind people are in this world,” Mike said.
The family said to their knowledge Patrick has never shown any signs of heart problems and moving forward the family wants to learn more about what happened and help other families avoid a similar situation.
The Minnesota Wild even had a moment of silence before the team’s game against the Winnipeg Jets Sunday.MORE NEWS: WCCO Saturday Morning Links: Jan. 22, 2022
On Monday, the Eastview Hockey Association is asking all students to wear Eastview hockey gear to school to show support for Patrick and his family.