TYSON LAJOIE (3.24.86-7.26.13)

I coached Tyson Lajoie in the 2004 and 2006 World Junior Championships.

He was one of my favorite players ever.

Tyson was always respectful. He always called me “coach,” even for years after. Tyson did what he was told, but created on top of that. He sensed when it was time to color outside the lines. He had fun, but was always prepared to play.

Tyson was relentless, a determined competitor with no trace of ego who always put the team first. He made his teammates better.

Tyson played on a line with fellow Leominster, Mass., natives Mike DiBenedetto and Matt Levesque when the U.S. won the World Junior Championship in ’06 at Aosta, Italy. That trio netted a ton of big goals, and Tyson played a big part.

DiBenedetto scored the gold medal-winning goal when the U.S. beat Slovakia in the final, 3-2. Tyson assisted. Goalmouth feed. He was a money player.

Tyson loved to win, and he knew how. I can pay no bigger compliment.

That gold medal in ’06 means more to me than anything I’ve accomplished in street hockey. Having Tyson’s memory associated makes it bigger still.

Tyson left us far too soon. My sincere condolences go to his friends and family. For those who knew him, street hockey will never be the same.

Tyson Lajoie, RIP.

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