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New Liskeard weekend-long hockey tournament raises awareness of CPR, defibrillators

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A weekend hockey tournament in Temiskaming Shores is raising money to improve an outdoor rink in North Cobalt while raising awareness of the importance of being trained in CPR.

The 4th annual AC15 Women’s Hockey Tournament is honouring the late Alexa Corneil, a 19-year-old New Liskeard native who died in her sleep from a heart arrhythmia while away at university.

Corneil had an undiagnosed heart condition called arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC).

“It’s one of the few conditions that actually gets worse with exercise,” said her father Glenn Corneil.

“So we had no warning. It's one of these things when you see high-level athletes, you know, collapsing on a basketball court or at a hockey rink. It's one of the causes, unfortunately.”

She was a co-captain of the North Bay Ice Boltz Midget AA team. Local health-care workers and high school students will be on hand running CPR training courses and teaching all who want to learn how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED), things that matter to the Corneil family.

The 4th annual AC15 Women’s Hockey Tournament is honouring the late Alexa Corneil, a 19-year-old New Liskeard native who died in her sleep from a heart arrhythmia while away at university. (Photos courtesy of Glenn Corneil)

CPR saves lives

Glenn said if his daughter were out in public and collapsed, CPR or an AED could have saved her life. That’s why the family is supportive of more people being trained in these life-saving methods.

“At any age group, it's important not to be afraid of doing CPR,” Corneil said.

“Those measures save lives. We really use Alexa's legacy to really try to pass that message on.”

In all, 14 women’s hockey teams are lacing up for the weekend tournament.

In the past, money raised was used to convert a dressing room in Haileybury to a girls’ focused room with individual stalls and inspirational quotes to make it a special place for them.

This year, Corneil said they will be combining the money donated with the City of Temiskaming Shores to renovate the outdoor rink at Shaver Park in North Cobalt.

Close with the Brazeau family

The renovation will make the ice surface more playable, fix up some of the aging structure and paving will allow a safe place for children to learn to ride a bicycle in the summer.

The Corneil family is also close friends with the family of former North Bay Battalion star Justin Brazeau.

“Justin and Alexa were born a week apart and the Brazeau and Corneil families are close,” Corneil said.

“So each tournament, starting when he was captain of the Battalion, they have donated a jersey from the team Justin is playing on to help increase our proceeds.”

In the wake of Brazeau’s signing with the Boston Bruins, a signed Bruins Brazeau jersey was donated and raffle tickets will be sold.

To donate to the cause or to learn more, you can contact the Alexa Corneil AC Hockey Fund by email, ac15hockey@gmail.com.

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