Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Two Great Guys

The following article and photo appeared on the Ottawa Senators' web site today. Please pray for Chris and the rest of the Neil family. THANK YOU!

Senators regroup after sad news to beat Hurricanes

Forward Mike Fisher, right, a close friend to Chris Neil, left, and his family, spoke about the attitudes of the players during what turned out to be a 5-3 win during a tragic day.

Teammates rally in support of Neil...

The Ottawa Senators wanted to put in a hard-working effort against the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday night after learning just a few hours earlier that teammate Chris Neil had lost his mother Bonnie in a single-vehicle car accident.

Forward Mike Fisher, a close friend to Neil and his family, spoke about the attitudes of the players during what turned out to be a 5-3 win during a tragic day.

“When things like that happen it really shows you how important family and relationships are. We played for Neiler and his family. He’s the heart and soul of our team. He always gives his best, that’s what we wanted to do. She was so proud of what Chris has done. I felt tonnes of different emotions (during the game) but I tried to channel them.”

Fisher said Mrs. Neil reminded him a lot of his mother.

“I knew her pretty well and she was a huge part of that family. She was an unbelievable person. It’s hard to put in words all she has done for Chris and his family. That family is so close. I see a lot of my mom in her, and it’s tough to see what Chris is going through. I can’t imagine it. It breaks your heart.”

Captain Daniel Alfredsson said the Senators were motivated to play well for the Neil family Tuesday night.

“It was a hard day for all of us. We felt for him. In respect to the family, the best thing we could do was focus and play hard to win.”

Senators coach Bryan Murray said it was a very quiet ride to the arena prior to the game. “Chris has been here a while. You build bonds and you become brothers, really. It really struck home. We all owe an awful lot to our parents. They take us to the rinks early in the morning, carry our kit bags to the car….”

The memorial service will take place Saturday, Nov. 26, at 11 a.m. at St. John’s United Church in Flesherton, Ont.

Memorial donations can be made to:

Flesherton Minor Sports (please indicate if the donation is to go to hockey, baseball or figure skating)
c/o Fawcett Funeral Home, 1 Highland Drive, Flesherton, ON Canada N0C 1E0
519-924-2810 or to your local branch of the Canadian Cancer Society.

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