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Original Issue

Heartbreak And Loss

On March 5, Grandville High senior forward Ryan Fischer assisted on the overtime game-winner of Michigan's Division 1 hockey quarterfinal, but he never made it to the next round. The West Point--bound Fischer, 17, died in his sleep hours before the semifinal from complications related to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, according to the Kent County medical examiner. His parents, Scott and Roni, told coach Joel Breazeale that Ryan, a co-captain, would have wanted the game to go on. After observing a moment of silence, the Bulldogs wiped away their tears and played gallantly, though they lost 3--0 to Detroit Catholic Central, the eventual champs. Senior Max Houtman wore his missing linemate's jersey. "It was an honor," he said. "I hope that I lived up to what Ryan stood for."