For ten years, Brenton Schroden skated with the Sioux Falls Flyers. He would have been a senior this year.
Except, this past summer Brenton drowned in Lake Poinsett on the 4th of July while swimming with friends. Crews frantically searched the waters day and night to find his body. Tonight, his former teammates paid tribute to Brenton on their first regular scheduled game of the season.
Since he was seven, hockey was always Brenton Schroden's game. A teammate in every sense of the word.
"He was always sneaky, but if anything every happened to you, he'd always stand up for you, had your back," said Tyler Petty, who has played hockey with Brenton for ten years..
Even though Brenton is not here tonight, he will always be a Sioux Falls Flyer. The team retired his jersey, number 11.
"Every teammate has signed the jersey," said public address announcer.
It's especially difficult on Brenton's mother, who will miss seeing her only son and number 11 on the ice.
"The hockey family has been very supportive and if we ever needed anything, they are always there for us and the boys try not to show their emotions, but it's been hard on them too, but they've been there for me too," said Sherri Schroden.
In a game where broken bones aren't all that uncommon, tonight an entire team played with a broken heart.
Teammates wear a tie dye t-shirt with a hockey puck and the number 11 on it under their uniforms in Brenton's honor.
Memories of a Sioux Falls hockey player will forever be frozen in the minds of his teammates.