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Support Chase, Meet NHL Alumni

Published: January 10, 2012 12:22 pm ET

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Details have been released regarding the fifth annual Chase McEachern Memorial Hockey for Heart Tournament.

The tournament will take place from Friday, February 24 to Sunday, February 26 at the New Tecumseth Recreation Centre in Alliston, Ont.

"This year our Pro-Star game will be held Sunday February 26 at 1:00 p.m.," Chase's father, Woodbine Entertainment Group Investigator John McEachern, told Trot Insider. "The game will include Darryl Sittler and other NHL alumni."

To register your team, or just yourself, click here or contact Christine Drury at 1-705-737-1020.

At the age of five, as a centre for his Barrie, Ont. minor hockey team, McEachern scored a whopping 130 goals. The 11-year-old was not only a left winger, but he also became assistant captain for the Vaughan Kings Minor Pewee AAA, a Greater Toronto Hockey League team. But in October, 2005, after being injured playing a pick-up football game at school, McEachern went to emergency where the doctors happened to discover his heart was beating fast --- up to 150 times a minute --- even though he was sitting in bed, a condition later diagnosed as an atrial flutter.

That night, McEachern went by air-ambulance to Sick Children's Hospital in Toronto and the next day underwent a cardiovert. During the procedure, doctors returned McEachern's heart rhythm back to normal with a small electric pulse while he was under a general anaesthetic. It was successful, and McEachern went back to school and continued playing hockey, but this time wearing a heart monitor under doctors' orders. During practice, however, McEachern's heart would sometimes beat up to 320 times a minute.

After having heard that professional hockey player Jiri Fischer collapsed and superstar Mario Lemieux retired because of irregular heartbeats like his, McEachern decided to start a campaign to make AEDs mandatory in hockey arenas and schools everywhere because, as his mother, Dorothy, said, "He realized that heart problems didn't just affect older people." Chase even went so far as to write famous CBC hockey commentator Don Cherry a letter, asking for his support. Although, before the campaign launched, Chase collapsed while at school and passed away before his dream could become a reality.


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