Ovation for Stoneman Douglas Hockey Team
The USA National High School Hockey Tournament in Plymouth is a big deal for each team playing. For Stoneman Douglas it’s also been a reprieve as fans and players deal are still reeling from a mass shooting at their school.
“It’s the perfect getaway,” said Stephanie Horowitz, a Stoneman Douglas student. “I know that I love hockey and I’ve been a hockey person since I was little.”
The rink has become their oasis – an island of escape from the horrific Valentine’s Day tragedy.
“Right now I am completely out of tears because I’ve cried every day since this happened,” Horowitz said.
Horowitz survived the massacre thanks to the heroic efforts of football coach Aaron Feis.
“Coach Feis, one of the victims, he saved our class,” Horowitz said.
Horowitz’s brother Matthew, who skates for the Eagles hockey team, survived too.
“I didn’t know if my brother was alive at one point,” Horowitz said. “It was just the most scariest thing ever.”
For Stephanie, Matthew and the entire Stoneman Douglas family, hockey is helping heal their wounds in a small way.
“It’s been a complete emotional roller coaster for everybody,” Horowitz said. “One day you’re just depressed. The next day you’re screaming in anger at Nick Cruz or just the whole situation itself.”
Stephanie has frequent flashbacks about that dark day in South Florida.
“I remember getting out,” Horowitz said. “The SWAT team marched in and they pointed guns at us and made us leave the closet and put our hands up and drop whatever’s in them.”
On the ice Friday, Stoneman Douglas lost to Edina and is now 0-2 in this prestigious prep tournament.
“It doesn’t matter win or lose,” Horowitz said.
What does count is that the Eagles are slowly recovering from an unthinkable tragedy.
“It’s just kind of amazing,” Horowitz said. “The fact that we’re here and the kids are able to play and push through everything else.”
After the game, the Eagles got handshakes from the Hornets and plenty of love from fans in the Ice Center.
The final game for Stoneman Douglas in the tournament is Saturday at the ice center agianst Lake Central of Indiana at 5 pm.