Kitchener Rangers defenceman Ben Fanelli remained in hospital Sunday in critical but stable condition after suffering a frightening injury during an Ontario Hockey League game.
Fanelli is in intensive care at Hamilton General Hospital with skull and facial fractures.
"We've got to keep going," Rangers forward Jason Akeson said after scoring the winning goal on Sunday against the visiting Sarnia Sting.
"As hard as it is, as shocking as it is, you've got to keep battling. It's good to come here and lose your thoughts for a couple hours."
The 16-year-old suffered skull and facial fractures during Friday night's 4-0 win over the visiting Erie Otters when he was checked by Erie's Michael Liambas.
Fanelli's helmet broke and flew off as his head appeared to strike the partition framing the glass at the Zamboni entrance.
Team trainers rushed to attend to Fanelli. Both teams formed prayer circles on the ice in front of their benches.
Liambas was in tears as he watched Fanelli twitch and froth at the mouth before being rushed to hospital.
He was airlifted to a Hamilton hospital after being taken to a local hospital.
The Otters veteran went to the hospital in Kitchener to see Fanelli but wasn't allowed in.
The No. 4 jersey Fanelli wore Friday was on the ice Sunday with the Rangers.
It was cut into small squares. Each player wore a piece of inside their sweater, on the back.
"We're carrying him with us," teammate Jonathan Jasper said.
Rangers coach Steve Spott had his jersey piece tied to the belt on his pants.
"There's no coach's clinic that prepares you for this type of stuff," Spott said. "I'm just trying to treat those 23 kids in there, and Ben, like my own."