The University of Alaska Fairbanks hockey program and its fans are mourning the loss of Chad Staley, who just a season ago was skating as a senior in the Nanooks’ blue and gold colors.
Staley died at 25 on Monday at his home in Kennewick, Washington. No official cause of death has yet been announced.
According to a posting on his mother Pam Staley’s Facebook page, a memorial service is set for 9 a.m. AKST March 21 at Mueller’s Funeral Homer in Kennewick and Staley scheduled to be buried at Riverview Heights Cemetery in Kennewick.
His mother also set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for burial expenses. As of 9 p.m. AKST Monday, the account had raised $13,758, surpassing its goal of $10,000.
“There are no words right now other than we are still in shock,” Pam Staley wrote on gofundme.com. “We appreciate the love and compassion we have received already.”
The right-handed forward skated in 126 games from 2015-19 with the Nanooks, of the NCAA Division I Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
Chad Staley provided 17 goals and 38 assists for 55 career points. His best season, statistics wise, was 2016-17, when he generated 8-13-21 totals in 36 contests.
“He had an infectious smile and he’d brightened up a room,” Nanooks head coach Erik Largen said by phone Tuesday night. “He’s great teammate, first and foremost, and he’s a really good person.
“As a player, he had some silky smooth hands, and he was a very smart player, and he had some really great offensiive instincts.”
Largen said this season’s Nanooks team learned of Staley’s passing on Monday.
Before coming to UAF, Staley played three seasons of Tier II junior A hockey with the Prince George Spruce Kings in the British Columbia Hockey League
He compiled 147 career points from 53 goals and 87 assists in 164 games.
Staley, according to an article on the website of the Prince George Citizen, played professionally this past season in Europe with the Hamburg Crocodiles of Germany’s third-division league and Unterland of the Italian 2 league. He had nine points in nine games for Hamburg and contributed five goals and 17 points in 14 games for Unterland.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.