A heart condition is keeping a rising young hockey star from Cole Harbour on the sidelines this season, but the tight-knit hockey community is rallying behind 10-year-old Connor Trenholm to help him return to the ice.
As a stereo belts out music in the dressing room, Connor pulls on his Cole Harbour Red Wings jersey over his clothes. He won’t be lacing up his skates.
The young team captain has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a thickening of his heart wall.
"It was quite a blow. It was really hard to fathom that they were telling us that he shouldn't do his favourite thing, basically,” said his father Chad Trenholm.
Connor is one of the best hockey players for his age level in the province. Now, operating the door on the Cole Harbour bench is as close as the team's captain can get to the ice.
"You know he's taking it one day at a time,” said coach Danny Puma.
“He's great when he's here, you wouldn't know anything was wrong. He gets the kids going and he's on that bench, he's happy to be there."
The Trenholms found out about their sons condition around the same time Jordan Boyd, a 16-year-old player in the QMJHL from Bedford, collapsed and died on the ice in Bathurst.
After several tests at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, the Trenholms used some connections to stay at a children's hospital in Pittsburgh.
While in there, Connor and his twin sister got to meet Cole Harbour star Sidney Crosby and Mario Lemieux. He even got to take home Crosby's stick.
They were able to make the trip after a fundraising event in Cole Harbour.
“Of course insurance doesn't cover something like that, being investigative in nature so the Cole Harbour hockey community, and really the hockey community in general, because there were plenty from outside of Cole Harbour, were very,very supportive,” said Connor's father.
Connor is now in a 90 day rest period. Under doctor's orders he's not supposed to be involved in any sort of physical activity.
He will be re-evaluated in the new year.