The Blackhawks overcame heavy hearts to win a hockey game 4-0 over Toronto Sunday night.
Before the game, a choked up Coach Joel Quennville informed the team that Assistant Equipment Manager Clint Reif had been found dead in his home Sunday morning.
Reif, who was only 34-years-old, was in his ninth season with the Hawks, the sixth in his current position.
The relationship between NHL players and the staff who care for their skates, sticks and other tools of the trade is perhaps the closest of any group of athletes and support personnel.
After the game, Hawks winger Patrick Sharp tried to talk about Reif with reporters, but became emotional, apologized and left the dressing room.
Reif’s cause of death is still being investigated by Lombard Police and the DuPage County Coroner’s Office.
He leaves behind wife Kelly, three daughters and a son.