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Community packs the stands at hockey game to pay tribute to Marshall Bader

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GRAND RAPIDS, MN -- The state of hockey came together tonight in Grand Rapids to pay tribute to a life lost much too soon.

9-year-old Marshall Bader died Sunday in a farming accident at his family farm west of Grand Rapids.

Marshall loved hockey. Hockey teams from across the nation have shown their support for the third grader and his family by putting their hockey sticks out on their front porches.

Friday night, Marshall's own hockey team took the ice for the first time since his death in a special game.

"There's only one Marshall Bader… there's only one Marshall Bader. No other kid like him," said Marshall's coach, Paul Huttner.

Hundreds of friends, family, teammates and fans packed the stands of the IRA Civic Center to honor the life of 9-year-old Marshall Bader - or as the hockey community calls him… "Turbo."

"He earned the nickname turbo overtime because he was that small stature with a big heart, and loved the game of hockey," said coach Andy Shermoen.

Marshall's squirt team with the Grand Rapids hockey association hit the ice to a standing ovation.

Each player from both teams had sticks wrapped in orange, and stickers and pins donning the number 5 - Marshall's team number.

"It's really neat that we can send him off with a rink packed full of people," coach Huttner said.

The game began with a moment of silence and a speech about the impact Marshall has made.

Marshall's coaches say he was a natural on the ice, an amazing teammate, and overall, an incredible kid.

"We got together as a team after and were telling stories. Most were about what a great kid he was, what a great attitude he was," Huttner said.

"I just remember him as that smiley boy. Hyper, Turbo. Loved him. I've got so many memories, I don't even know where to start," Shermoen said.

As the community grieves, those who knew Marshall said the insurmountable love and support has been overwhelming.

"The amount of support from the entire state of hockey has been absolutely incredible. In a time of such tragedy… to find some sort of goodness, or hope, or beauty, is something we can point to and lean on."

Not an empty bleacher in the arena.
Not a dry eye in the stands.
And a very special game… all for Marshall.

Teams across the state have been fundraising to help Marshall's family do something special to remember their son.

If you like to contribute.. you can donate to their GoFundMe account HERE.

Jenna Wells

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