Hockey Player 16, Dies From Stroke On Christmas

by J Pelkey
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A 16-year-old hockey player, Cormick Scanlan, from St. Paul, Minnesota, died on Christmas Day after suffering a stroke on December 6th.

An angiogram revealed Cormick had a rare condition called Moyamoya disease.

According to the NIH:

Moyamoya disease is a rare, progressive cerebrovascular disorder caused by blocked arteries at the base of the brain in an area called the basal ganglia. The name “moyamoya” means “puff of smoke” in Japanese and describes the look of the tangle of tiny vessels formed to compensate for the blockage.  Moyamoya disease was first described in Japan and is found in individuals around the world; its incidence is higher in Asian countries than in Europe or North America. The disease primarily affects children but it can also occur in adults. In children, the first symptom of Moyamoya disease is often stroke, or recurrent transient ischemic attacks (TIA, commonly referred to as “mini-strokes”), frequently accompanied by muscular weakness or paralysis affecting one side of the body. Adults may also experience these symptoms that arise from blocked arteries, but more often experience a hemorrhagic stroke due to bleeding into the brain.


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There is a GoFundMe campaign for his family.

“Our hockey community has lost a great young man. Cormick Scanlan passed away peacefully last night surrounded by family,” the St. Paul Capitals Hockey Association posted on Facebook.

Cormick suffered a stroke on December 6th. Angiogram revealed that he had a rare condition called moyamoya disease. He had bypass surgery on Thursday the 15th to repair the left side carotid artery with blood vessels from his head. Sadly, he suffered additional strokes thereafter.

Cormick played with the Capitals through last season. Our strength is with the Scanlans and all who loved Cormick.

St. Paul Capitals Hockey posted this tribute to Scanlan:

The Capitals mourn the loss of Cormick Scanlan. Cormick was a Capitals player from his time as a mini-mite through his past two seasons on our Bantam AA team. He now plays for Cretin Derham Hall.

During his Peewee B1 year, Cormick’s signature move was the “choo choo”; which featured him using his size and speed to beat defenseman to the net. On his way past defenders, parents would shout, “choo choo” as Cormick charged past defenders towards the net. Cormick used this move in the winning goal to beat Edina 1-0 in the Eden Prairie tournament that season. His former coach, Jeff Wright commented recently, “If you needed a big goal, Cormick was your guy.”

Dane Erickson, Cormick’s Bantam AA coach, remembers Cormick as a player of great character, with a great attitude, who always worked hard and finished first in every race – on and off the ice. “I can still see him barreling down the ice, beating the defenseman wide, and driving the puck hard to the net.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with Heather, Joe, Sloane, Brynn, and Colin at this difficult time.

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