PLYMOUTH, Mich. (WOOD) — It was an emotional night for hockey fans as the Grandville Bulldogs faced off against Detroit Catholic Central in the MHSAA Division 1 Hockey Semifinals on the east side of the state.
Grandville High School students arrived with fresh tears and heavy hearts as they came to cheer on the Bulldogs and remember a player who would not hit the ice at CompuWare Arena Friday night.
That’s because 17-year-old Ryan Fischer, one of the Bulldogs’ captains, passed away in his sleep less than 24 hours before the start of the game. According to the Kent County Medical Examiner’s Office, he died of natural causes, and his enlarged heart was a contributing factor.
Friends shared memories of Fischer, the arena held a moment of silence in his honor, and his teammate and close friend, Max Houtman, wore Fischer’s captain’s jersey in tribute.
At the end of the game, Catholic Central took the win, with a 3-0 victory over Grandville.
But that wasn’t the end of it.
Catholic Central’s players put their victory celebration on pause and surrounded the Bulldogs with a hug, and prayed with them to show their support.
Watch the video above to hear how Fischer’s friends and schoolmates will remember him.