The Airdrie Techmation Thunder junior B hockey team paid tribute to Ryan Couling at their last home game on Nov. 25.
Couling passed away on Nov. 22 following a 19-month battle with a rare liver cancer. He had been a long-time member of the Airdrie hockey community, and his younger brother Zach plays for the Thunder.
An emotional pre-game ceremony at the Ron Ebbesen Arena was held before puck-drop on Friday night in the Thunder's Heritage Junior Hockey League (HJHL) game against the Rocky Rams. Airdrie's visiting opponents showed their own support for Airdrie's mourning hockey community by adding helmet decals with Couling's initials on them – RC.
Proceeds from the Thunder's ticket, 50-50, and merchandise sales were donated to the Couling family to support funeral costs.
Airdrie's junior B team played three games over the weekend, and their opponents also paid some form of tribute to Couling. The Medicine Hat Cubs had a minute of silence before their home game against the Thunder and Sunday, and also opted to donate proceeds from game-day revenues to the Couling family.