June 6, 2012 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Former Clarkson Defenseman Suffers Fatal Accident in Europe

CHN Staff Report

Former Clarkson defenseman Bryan Rufenach was killed Monday during a backpacking trip to Switzerland.

According to the Ontario Post, Rufenach, 23, was electrocuted while traveling with a childhood friend.

"Brian will be sorely missed by those who knew him," said George Roll, Rufenach's coach at Clarkson and now the coach at Nazareth. "He was clearly making an impact at the pro level. He was a talented player in his four years at Clarkson. He always had a smile on his face. This is certainty a shock and a tragedy for the entire Clarkson hockey family. Our prayers and sympathy go out to (parents) Doug and Eileen and the entire Rufenach family."

Rufenach played 54 games for the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL last season, and was the team's third-leading scorer.

"Everyone is confused by it all right now," Toledo coach Nick Vitucci told the Toledo Blade. "The details aren't in yet. We do know that it was a tragic accident."

Rufenach, a native of Barrie, Ontario, was taken in the seventh round of the 2007 NHL Draft by the Detroit Red Wings. He played four seasons at Clarkson, and signed with Toledo in March of 2011. He had 13 goals last season for the Walleye, third among ECHL defensemen, and played 13 games for the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins in three different stints.

According to reports, Rufenach had been traveling with a friend through Europe for the past month.

Teammate Riley Emmerson wrote on his Twitter account, "RIP Rufe you will truly be missed buddy! A tremendous hockey player and even better person!"

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