Ice hockey player hit by puck in chest dies
There are players with far more talent than Jaxon Logan. Players whose natural abilities negate any need to skate the ice with desire, heart or courage.
Players who would have let the shot pass.
Six goals up on Northern Colorado with moments remaining in the second period, the Provo Icecats didn't need another scoring opportunity.
But Logan never rolled over the boards and onto the ice without a goal in mind. The Division 2 rookie had yet to earn a spot on the starting lineup of BYU's unofficial men's ice hockey team.
Winning a first-string slot, the slender wing knew, meant never letting an opportunity pass by.
Logan died Friday night moments after he dove before a shot that, witnesses say, almost certainly would have been stopped by the Icecats' goalie. The puck bounced off Logan's chest and onto the stick of Brett Fuller, who fed Jeremy Weiss for the score.
The goal, as time expired in the period, sent a crowd of 1,500 into hysterics.
Few immediately noticed the 18-year-old player as he slowly lifted himself from the ice near his team's blue line and stumbled toward the Icecats bench. Rolling his body over the board, Logan collapsed.
He gasped sharply, then stopped breathing.
As players scattered away to make room, Icecats coach Matt Beaudry, a Provo paramedic, and his daughter, trainer Sara Beaudry, began attempts to resuscitate Logan as he lay on the floor of the team box.
Within moments, Provo's Peaks Ice Arena had fallen silent. Throughout the 8,000-seat Olympic venue - filled with members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - prayer circles formed.
On-duty paramedics were in the arena within minutes. Logan would not regain consciousness, however, and was declared dead after being transported to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. Doctors told team members it was unlikely any medical effort could have saved the young man. The shot Logan took on the chest had interrupted his heartbeat, causing an abnormal rhythm and, ultimately, cardiac arrest.
Logan grew up playing hockey in a rink behind his home in Palmer, Alaska, but never entertained delusions of NHL grandeur. He was to make his mark on the world in uniforms of different nature - as an LDS missionary, starting later this year, and then in the U.S. Air Force.
"When he put his mind to something, he did it," said Logan's sister, Chauri, a student at Utah State University, who said her brother dreamed of becoming a pilot.
The youngest of four children, Jaxon Logan was extremely popular in his hometown of about 4,500 people.
"He touched so many peoples' lives while he was here," Chauri Logan said. "He always set such a good example, staying true to his beliefs no matter what. I believe he'll continue to touch people's lives even though he's gone."
Jaxon Logan's death came less than a week after his parents, Darcy and Michael Logan, last saw their son play during a three-game road trip to California.
Matt Beaudry said Logan distinguished himself during those contests, making it clear by his play that he intended to win a starting spot before season's end.
"He was one of the smallest players on the team, but he delivered some of the biggest body checks in every game," Beaudry said. "He knew he was getting better every game and you could tell that he wanted to show the team that he was ready to work into the starting rotation."
Icecats captain Jimmy Burkart said Logan had earned the increased ice-time he was recently receiving, but never forgot how he got it.
"As a hockey player, you're supposed to play every shift with as much emotion and as much heart as you can give," Burkart said. "He exemplified what a hockey player and a person should be."
* A memorial service for Provo Icecats hockey player Jaxon Logan will be 6 p.m. Monday in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ward house at 8500 S. 900 East in Provo. A service and burial for the 18-year-old BYU student is planned for Saturday in Palmer, Alaska.