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Grieving parents of young Ontario hockey player struggle to find answers


When I was approached about this story, I was reluctant.

Not because it wasn’t convincing, it was. I was reluctant mainly because I knew it would be emotionally difficult and because it was about a teenager who played hockey representing AA.

Every day I watch my teenage son. I take him to the hockey rink, I take him to team dinners, team building events and tournaments. I chat with other hockey parents and coaches. I live the exact same sports parent life that Susan and Greg Teague lived with their son Ben in 2019.

My teenage son also plays representative hockey. I have witnessed positive training and great experiences in sports and cultural practices that involve alcohol in sporting events.

When we caught up with Susan and Greg in December 2022 to hear their story, I looked around their warm home. Their Christmas tree was up, they had pictures of their youngest son Ben gathered on the shelf, they were putting together a family photo wall.

It would be the fourth Christmas they wouldn’t have with Ben, who died suddenly during a team building camp with his hockey team in September 2019.

When W5 caught up with Ben Teague’s parents in December 2022, it would be the third Christmas they wouldn’t have with their son. (Photo provided)

We interviewed Susan and Greg separately. Susan was nervous. She told us that she wanted to make sure that what happened to Ben doesn’t happen again and that the culture of “what happens in the team stays in the team” stops. She wanted to continue investigating to find out what had happened to her youngest son.

Greg spoke on camera for over an hour, a conversation that allowed him to share his best moments with Ben, as a six-year-old learning to skate, and his darkest moment learning that Ben was deceased. The process of interviewing relatives who have lost a loved one is deeply moving and never fades.

The Teagues mounted a great effort. They independently interviewed many of Ben’s teammates with their parents and learned that at camp 2019 there was a party, allegedly with booze, vapes and drugs in electronic vaporizers called dab pens. and that the boys had all contributed.

She also learned that there was a maze at camp where, the year before, the senior boys had chased naked recruits in a manhunt game and that in 2018, Ben had won.


They are frustrated with the police investigation, the medical investigation and what they see as the coaches’ lack of accountability. They say they believe valuable evidence has been lost in the more than three years since Ben’s death.

While working on the visuals we would need to tell this story, I asked the Teagues if they had been to a hockey rink together since Ben died. They hadn’t. It took a lot of courage for them to do that for this story.

I thought it would be too triggering for them to walk into a rink where Ben was playing, so we found a location in another town. We stepped back to let them admire the empty ice rink we had rented.

Grieving parents of young Ontario hockey player struggle to find answersThe parents of young Ontario hockey player Ben Teague have been searching for answers since his passing during a team retirement in 2019. The mystery of what happened and the code of silence in hockey culture are explored in “ What happened to Ben »

About a week later I realized I would need visuals of a teenage player skating on the ice, I knew we would want to capture images that depict Ben’s shirt, his stick, his skates.

I realized how precious these memories of their son are and that Ben’s Oakville Ranger uniform should no longer be worn.

I asked my teenage son, who like Ben plays defense, if he could help me with those shots and he could just wear a plain jersey – no logos, no numbers.

He said, “Of course mom.” I showed him the photo of Ben and a video clip of Ben skating. He said, “Mom, he’s really awesome.” I said yes.” It wasn’t lost on either of us that on Saturday, when this episode airs, we’ll be in an arena in a playoff game.

Watch the W5 documentary “What Happened to Ben” on CTV, Saturday at 7 p.m.

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