REEDSBURG, Wis. — Her parents say hockey was Evelyn Gurney's passion. She had big dreams, that included playing college hockey.
But life doesn't always go according to plan, and the 13-year-old from Reedsburg, WI won't get the chance to see her dreams come true. Last Friday, May 12, Evelyn was in the process of getting on a school bus on a rural road in the Town of Excelsior, Wisconsin when she was struck by a passing vehicle and killed.
Naturally, her small hometown and the local hockey community are reeling. Evelyn was set to travel to Maple Grove this weekend for a tournament with her Wisconsin Blue Devils U-12 team. Her teammates will still make the trip, vowing to skate in honor of number 42.
"She wasn't a big kid but she was a spitfire, played like she was six feet tall," Blue Devils coach Joe Uminski told KARE 11's Madison, WI affiliate WMTV. "She was 100 mph all the time, sometimes 110."
Following Evelyn's death a group of teammates started a GoFundMe for her family, with the goal of raising $1,000. As of Friday morning, more than $91,000 has been raised, and Blue Devils Hockey spokesperson Nate Niceswanger says her parents Missy and Brian Gurney have spoken of steering some of the donations towards building a new rink in Reedsburg, something Evelyn would have loved.
But before that, the Blue Devils will come to Minnesota with Gurney's number 42 written in tape on their sticks. Coach Joe's message will be simple.
"Take that piece of her and put it in you and play like that, play like that every game in every shift and everything you do,” Uminski said. ”We love her. She was a very bright flame and it’s been dimmed but we won’t let it go out.”
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