Health over hockey: The Laker captain saw his high school career interrupted due to health complications from COVID-19 – The Rink Live

DETROIT LAKES – When the Detroit Lakes boys’ hockey team met at the home of junior Ben Hines for their traditional breakfast before the game on the morning of February 26, all but one player were ready for the Section 8A semifinals.

The one who was not running, Beau Boehne, gave the Lakers their last pregame speech of the season.

Boehne’s season ended a month earlier after a match against the Prairie Center at the Kent Freeman Arena on January 20th. The senior captain assisted with a goal in the second period of the 8-0 victory.

He did not know that this would be the last time he would wear the Laker jersey. Boehne tested positive for COVID-19 in the days that followed.
For most high school athletes, the virus leads to minor or moderate symptoms and a standard quarantine. For Boehne, it led to the end of his hockey season – twice.

I do not think there is a match that Beau played in where he did not think his team would win.

Al Boehne

“Last year, during my junior season, I was diagnosed with myocarditis (after having COVID-19),” Boehne said. “It’s an inflammation of the heart that kept me from playing. My enzymes were really high. I played in about half of the matches last year in the short season. Right away I thought, ‘It’s a shame. Fortunately, it’s my junior season. ‘ If I had known what was going to happen, I would have thought differently about it. “

Despite playing only eight games in the 2020-21 season, he was named one of the captains for the following season. In 17 games, he scored 13 goals and recorded nine assists. He was an intricate offensive piece on a top-10 Class A team that went 20-6-2.

The Detroit Lakes lost to Thief River Falls in the 8A semifinals, ending one of the best seasons in the program’s history.

“We’ve told everyone that our team is really good and that people should not sleep on us,” Boehne said. “I think we proved it. I was really looking forward to being on the ice with a team that could go far and potentially win a section championship and go to the state tournament. When playing on a team like this, there are t many bad ones. “It’s so much fun playing on this team. When you find out it’s over, it’s a bit like a bomb being thrown at you. It’s all taken away now.”

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Beau Boehne is chasing a loose puck in the first period during the Detroit Lakes’ 3-0 loss to Warroad on January 8, 2022 at Kent Freeman Arena.

Jared Rubado / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Tests positive a second time

Boehne had not forgotten his setback in the junior year when he began his senior season. Every day he had spent at home that year while his teammates were on the ice made him more hungry to come back.

As COVID-19 cases began to rise across the country during his winter sports season last year, Boehne did his best to stay in a good head start. When he tested positive for the second time in two years, his fear of an abrupt end to his playing days became a reality.

“It increased my enzymes again,” he said of his second COVID infection. “The doctors told me I could not play. I do not have myocarditis anymore, but because I did it earlier, it triggered my enzyme spike again. They told me one of my vessels was bigger than it should be, and “The safest thing for me was not to play. It could have caused coagulation and such.”

In the following weeks, Boehne went to several doctor visits in hopes of returning to hockey to end his senior season. Despite how he felt, he was optimistic he would play again.

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Beau Boehne points to the camera as he walks out to the ice before the third period on December 18, 2021 at The Lights in West Fargo.

Jared Rubado / Detroit Lakes Tribune

“I was a little nervous, but I thought it was not the same thing as last year,” Boehne said. “The original pain I had, I would not wish on anyone. You never think that kind of thing can happen to you. You certainly do not think it’s going to happen to you twice.”

Boehne had a final deal a week before the section’s playoffs started. That was when his hopes ran out.

“I knew after the doctor’s first two sentences that it was over,” Boehne said. “She came into the room and started talking. My dad and I looked at each other a little bit and knew it was done. My parents were pretty emotional. I think they took it a little harder than I did. I’m sorry of it and frustrated. about it of course too. “

“When I see my friends and teammates play in this environment, I just wonder why there is nothing I could take to prevent my body from failing,” Boehne said as he looked out onto the ice before the semifinals in Section 8A. “I can not believe there is nothing I could do to get myself a few more fights.”

‘Our family is a hockey family’

Beau’s father, Al, has been on the microphone at Kent Freeman Arena more times than he can count. It is “a privilege,” he said, to be the Lakers’ speakers for his children’s home games.

“Our family is a hockey family,” he added. “Every child we have, all six, played hockey at one time or another. It was a big thing in our family. I can not tell you how many games we went to. You do not play hockey at the youth level just because it’s something to do.The ultimate thing – and I’ve talked to Beau about this several times – but you just want to get to the state tournament.I do not think there’s a game that Beau played in like he did.Don’t think his team would win. “

Al was tested positive for COVID-19 a week before Beau.

“I got sick before he got it this winter,” Al said. “He said to me, ‘Dad, you need to get better so I can hear you announce my name again.’ Well, that never happened. By the time I got well, he’s been sick. “Summer hockey, fall hockey, and going up to Winnipeg to camp. When it all crashes down on you before you get a chance to get a chance to achieve what you were trying to do, it’s just heartbreaking.”

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Beau Boehne (center) leads a piece at the start of the Detroit Lakes boys’ hockey practice on November 19, 2021 at the Kent Freeman Arena.

Jared Rubado / Detroit Lakes Tribune

The end of Beaus’ high school career had a ripple effect throughout his family.

“It was a shock, but you have to put your health first and hockey second,” Al said as he fought back the tears. “Beau is a decent player and he grew up with these kids and played with them all his life. It was so hard for his mother and she would not go to the games. She just could not see him sitting on the bench and not She went to the last couple of games and came back to it to support him and his friends. “

“It’s just a game, but you put so much of your life into it that it’s hard to say, ‘it’s just a game,'” he continued. “I think Beau is not telling the truth if he said he thought this was harder for his mom and dad. It was hard for us, but it was not good for him. He did very well.”

To become a different leader

Beau was not only one of the Lakers’ leading scorers – he was also an emotional leader. On the day of the section semifinal, he gave a heartfelt speech at the team breakfast. Even in a capacity off the ice, head coach Ben Noah said Boehne did not stop leading by example.

“It’s just as important to be a leader and show the good qualities you have outside of the ice as it is to be on the ice,” Boehne said. “My mom tells me this all the time. She always wants to talk about the bright side of things, which gets annoying because she’s right. This was a true test for me to show that I could still be the leader of this team when I’m not on the ice. “

Boehne stood on the bench in streetwear and a hockey helmet during the matches.

“It’s so cliché to say you do not know when your last fight will be,” Boehne said. “We’ve heard from previous coaches and players that you will miss it even more than you think when it’s over. When you’re a teenager, you think you’re invincible. You think you’ll get to to play forever. To have it took away from me in my junior year, it just hit me. I came into this year and wanted to play as hard as I could in every game. I did it. You have to play as if it is your last match every time. What’s the point of playing if you do not want to do it right? “

His parents said they could not be more proud of how their son handled the whole situation. When he had every right to be angry, they said, he chose instead to be effective.

“It’s a setback in life,” Al said. “It teaches you how to deal with adversity. It will make him a better person in the long run. I think he will come back to play one day. Maybe not at junior level, but maybe just around town or skate with youth programs. He’s good with kids. In the big world this is not such a big deal. But it’s big for you because your world is not that big. I do not think Beau is angry with anyone because of his misfortune. He takes it all like a soldier. “

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Beau Boehne takes a shot on goal in the first period during the Detroit Lakes’ 3-0 loss to Warroad on January 8, 2022 at the Kent Freeman Arena.

Jared Rubado / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Beau has not closed the door to play hockey again. His talent at the high school level is good enough to give him some opportunities for junior hockey at the low level. However, there is still uncertainty despite his improved health.

“He was in control (last Thursday),” Al said. “His heart is in very good shape. He has another appointment on May 12. He must have a heart MRI. We hope they will release him for any activity that an 18-year-old would do. He has options. to play for some junior teams.I think he’s nurturing on the hockey side of things because of the last two years.He will not go through it again where they tell him it’s over even though they say “that it’s OK to play now. We’ll see what happens. Time will cure a few things.”

For now, Beau is looking forward to the summer months. He loves fishing and wake surfing, so when he gets word from his doctors and when the snow melts, he looks forward to being on the water.

When you are a teenager, you think you are invincible. You think you’ll be playing forever. After taking it from me in my teens, it just hit me. I came in this year with a desire to play as hard as I could in every game. I did that.

Beau Boehne

As for his high school hockey career, the Lakers season ended about 12 hours after he gave his breakfast speech. But for him, being a Laker meant more than just being a hockey player.

“It’s crazy to think about how much I had fun playing for this team even though my seasons were shortened,” Boehne said. “You have to give credit to coach Noah and all the other coaches. He came into my second season and told us we wanted to change things. He’s the guy responsible for changing the culture. It was up to us kids. to get society to follow us. I think we did. “

“If you look back at the culture of the past and where it is now, only the inner circle will know that we were moving in the right direction,” Boehne said. “There will always be noise from outside that says we were the same old DL hockey team that can not win. What this inner circle always knew is that we love each other so much and we love being on this team. “We are here to do things the right way and treat people with respect. So for me being a part of it is more than I could have asked for.”

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Beau Boehne (center) Tommy Suckert (left) and Cole Deraney celebrate Boehne’s equalizer during the Detroit Lakes’ 5-4 overtime loss to the East Grand Forks on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 at Kent Freeman Arena. Jared Rubado / Detroit Lakes Tribune

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