The North American Hockey League (NAHL) and the Topeka RoadRunners organization is in mourning with the passing of second-year forward Peter Halash.
A product of Detroit Catholic Central High School and native of Novi, Michigan, Peter had joined the RoadRunners in the 2012-13 season after a stint with the Tri-City Storm of the USHL.
He made his presence known immediately, and soon emerged as a charismatic leader both on and off the ice. He was loved and respected among his teammates for his joyful approach to the game, work ethic, pregame locker room rituals and in-game mannerisms, to name a few. Sometimes seen as quiet and reserved, his teammates knew him as quick witted and energetic. He was a player who loved everything about the game, and his enthusiasm was infectious.
On the ice, his game grew from being a skilled forward who was strong on the boards to being a complete two-way hockey player who was equally at home in the defensive zone. His tenacity and creativity were inspirational, and through his play he motivated those around him to be the best they could be.
Peter’s absence leaves a gaping hole in the RoadRunners line chart, locker room, and collective heart. It’s a loss that transcends the boundaries of divisions and competition, and the RoadRunner organization is grateful for the outpouring of support not only from across the league, but from the sport as a whole. The pain reverberates throughout the hockey world. Peter will be missed greatly, but the lives he touched along the way will forever treasure his memory.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)