The entire Kootenay International Junior Hockey League is morning the loss of a former player following a freak accident Friday in Kelowna.
Former Columbia Valley Rockies forward Brendan Burge has been identified on social media as the man who died tragically after falling from the fifth-floor balcony of a downtown Kelowna condo.
“A very sad day for the KIJHL,” said a post Sunday on the Columbia Valley Rockies Facebook Page.
“The sad news of the passing of Brendan Burge from Salmon Arm who played for the Rockies during the 2012/13 Season.”
Born in Salmon Arm, Burge, 24, had a lengthy career in the KIJHL with stops in Revelstoke, Chase and Fernie before completing his career with the Rockies.
He played 162 games scoring 87 goals and registering 138 assists for 225 points.
Burge went on to play for a team in Germany, Luchse Lauterbach.
“Brendan was only with us for one season before finishing Junior, and moving on to play In Germany; but his presence made a huge impact on the ice and in the dressing room,” the Rockies Facebook post went on to say.
“Brendan came to the Rockies from Fernie and showed tremendous character and growth during his time as a Rockie.”
Burge earned Rockies top scorer and Columbia Valley’s most valuable player honours during his final season.
“We as an organization are so deeply affected by the passing of this young man and would like to pass on our condolences to his family, his beautiful daughter Bodene and his hockey family that spans far and wide,” the Rockies Facebook Post said.
The RCMP does not believe foul play was a factor in the accident. The BC Coroners Service is now handling the investigation.
Brendan’s true passion for the game is best summed up in his own choice of words:
“I miss the feel of the puck, and the breeze as you skate; I miss the sound of the crowd and my stupid room mate. The list could go on and on, but nothing will replace the way, that every problem, every issue that was going on in a guy’s mind just disappeared as soon as you stepped on the ice. Even if it meant for just two hours you had not a worry in the world….”
“Ride on, Burgey - Rest in Peace…,” the Rockies Facebook Post concluded.