Walleye mourn passing of Bryan Rufenach
6/5/2012 - Toledo Walleye defenseman Bryan Rufenach passed away this week while traveling in Switzerland. He was 23 years old.
Walleye head coach Nick Vitucci said, “The entire team’s thoughts and prayers are with Bryan’s family as they get through this difficult time. Bryan was a great teammate and would play any role asked of him.”
Rufenach was selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the seventh round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He was signed to his first professional contract by the Walleye on March 25, 2011, after four years at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York. He played in the final six games of Toledo’s 2011-12 season, scoring one goal with one assist and eight penalty minutes.
The Barrie, Canada native started the 2011-12 campaign with the Walleye and excelled in his 54 games with the team. He displayed tremendous offensive skill, punctuated by a career-high four goals scored in a 7-4 loss vs. Chicago on November 9. Rufenach finished the season with 13 goals for Toledo – ranking him third in the ECHL for defenseman. He added 20 assists and logged 34 penalty minutes for the Walleye. Rufenach was promoted to Grand Rapids (AHL) on three different occasions, picking up two assists in a total of 13 games with the Griffins.
Stoddart Funeral Home
24 Mill Street
Friday, June 15 - 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. & 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Saturday, June 16 - 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Funeral Mass - Saturday, June 16 - 1 p.m.
St. Mary's Church
40 Russell Street East
Bryan Rufenach Memorial Fund
To follow is a notice from Bryan Rufenach's family. Please consider a donation to the Bryan Rufenach Memorial Fund.
The family of Bryan Rufenach thanks everyone for the outpouring of condolences and support during this difficult time.
The shock and grief around Bryan’s untimely and accidental death has been compounded by the complexity of his being in Switzerland at the time of his passing. As a result, friends of the family have arranged for an account to be set up in Bryan’s name. The CIBC Bank is accepting donations to this account with the intent to help offset the costs to bring Bryan home to his family. Please consider donations to this fund in lieu of flowers.
Any excess funds will go toward the Bryan Rufenach Memorial Skills Camp. The family hopes to continue Bryan’s dedication to the sport of hockey, and his desire to pass on his knowledge to young players through skill-development camps. Bryan had booked ice time at his local Lindsay, Ontario rink this summer to run these camps for kids. Short-term plans are for Doug Rufenach, Bryan’s dad, and Mark Rufenach, Bryan’s brother, to keep a portion of this ice time and run a small camp for local, house-league players at no cost to the those attending. The hope for the future is to grow this into a larger volunteer-based and free program allowing even more kids the opportunity to develop their hockey skills.
We know that Bryan would love for his legacy to live on in helping kids to find the same fun, love and passion that he felt every time he stepped on the ice.
Donations to the Bryan Rufenach Memorial Fund can be made in any one of the following ways: