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"He was just a really nice kid"

North Bay mourns the passing of a young local hockey player
20200919 Noah Dugas
Noah Dugas photo from 2019. Photo courtesy Tom Martineau/BayToday.

A well known young hockey player who captured the hearts of the community has passed away from another stroke.

Noah Dugas, who suffered from a stroke earlier this summer, was getting treatment at a hospital in the GTA and was making progress while rehabilitating and taking online courses at ecole secondaire Algonquin.  

"It is with sincere sadness that I write Noah has passed," stated his cousin Megan Odd, who helped create massive support for Noah through social media back in September when she asked Twitter to do its magic. 

"His strength and perseverance will never be forgotten. His memory will live on."  

The community and the hockey world embraced the 13-year-old and his challenges. Noah was even featured on an intermission on Hockey Night In Canada during game one of the Stanley Cup finals and then received get well wishes from dozens of NHL stars - many of who sent him autographed jerseys in the mail.

See related: Hockey world rallying around local hockey player 

Social media was plastered with photos of the young teen's smiling face in a hockey dressing room on Friday afternoon when news of his passing started to spread.  

Others have shared photos of hockey sticks, skates and jerseys sitting on their front step in honour of Noah.  

"The hockey world mourns the loss of a great young, tough and talented player today," musician and former junior hockey player Cory Marks stated on social media.  

"Heaven's team just gained an All-Star. My sincere condolences to the Dugas family during these difficult times and to all of Noah’s teammates over the years. We are thinking and praying for you, stay strong."

Even professional wrestler and well-known actor John Cena sent Noah words of encouragement and sent him his book talking about never giving up during Noah's recovery. 

But it was the community of North Bay which really outshone all the celebrity words of encouragement with heartfelt generosity.  A #NoahStrong T-Shirt campaign spearheaded by former NHLer Darren Turcotte was one of many fundraisers the community supported over the past few months. 

It was just one way for the community to try and show support for a family trying to be #NoahStrong.  

As for Noah, he really was that kid everyone talks about that always came to the rink with a smile on his face.

He will be missed by many. At the hockey rink and beyond.    

At a hockey scrimmage at Memorial Gardens Friday night, players lined up at the blueline for a moment of silence for 71 seconds in honour of the number Noah wore while playing for the North Bay U13 AAA Trappers last season.  

"He was just a really nice kid," one former teammate said describing Noah.   

A really nice kid gone way too soon.  

Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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