Nick Bond, the captain of his hockey team, had scored a goal during the game Sunday morning, but he left the rink after telling his coach -- who was also his father -- that he had a headache.
Moments after leaving the ice at the Wissahickon Skating Club in Chestnut Hill, the Springfield (Montgomery County) High School senior collapsed and was taken to Einstein Medical Center, where surgeons operated to relieve pressure on his brain.
Bond died Monday afternoon. Coaches and parents said that they did not see Bond take any blows to the head and that he did not tell anyone he had been hit, but he died from complications from blunt-impact head trauma, the Philadelphia Medical Examiner's Office said Tuesday. The office ruled his death an accident.
The Wissahickon Skating Club was his favorite place, a second home for the 18-year-old "since he was old enough to put on skates," said Kevin Hamel, the club's president, whose son grew up with Bond.
At the skating club, Bond blossomed from a shy, reserved little boy to "this amazing young man who was courageous both on the ice and off," Hamel said. To lose Bond when he was on the cusp of college and a bright future "is devastating beyond belief," he said.
"He was, without question, the epitome of what we want most in our children," Hamel said.
Bond was the youngest of four brothers. His father, Rob, in addition to coaching hockey at the club, has been an assistant varsity baseball coach at Springfield the last four seasons. His mother, Margaret, is a crossing guard for the school district and a passionate "hockey mom."
Bond volunteered to help younger skaters and led "with confidence and compassion," Hamel said. Although he was "somewhat diminutive, Nick fearlessly challenged every opposing player regardless of size," the club president said.
"Year after year, Nick was selected by his teammates and coaches as team captain," Hamel said. "When the team was down, Nick was that guy to score the first goal to start the turnaround."
Bond also played football and lacrosse, and had played baseball for the Chestnut Hill Youth Sports Club, where his father formerly coached.
Dennis Primavera, Springfield's head baseball coach, said everyone at the school loved the teenager.
"The entire community has been hit real hard by this," he said. "Stuff like this, where a great kid dies so young, shouldn't happen."
Players in Bond's hockey club and its sister club in Ontario plan to put stickers on their helmets to honor Bond. The club planned to bring his teammates together Tuesday night, a practice night, for grief counseling.
Several former teammates now in college, including one in West Virginia, planned to come.