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Falmouth Honors High School Hockey Players Killed In Crash

FALMOUTH (CBS) – Showing strength and resilience, the Falmouth High School hockey team was back on the ice for their first game since losing two of their teammates in a car crash.

Instead of buying tickets, fans at the game between Falmouth and Dennis-Yarmouth donated to the newly formed 10 19 Foundation in memory of James Lavin and Owen Higgins.

"Tonight to me it's more about the healing process, we have a game to play, and that's what Lav and Higgy would want," said Coach Paul Moore.

Lavin and Higgins were killed in a car crash after leaving hockey practice just a few days before Christmas.

Falmouth hockey
Falmouth hockey players carry jerseys of James Lavin and Owen Higgins (WBZ-TV)

On Wednesday night, the Clippers carried their jerseys from the locker room to the bench to oversee the team's first game since the tragedy. The pregame ceremony was brief but emotional, as teammates struggled to carry on without a couple of heart and soul guys.

"There's really no way to wrap your head around what happened but we just have to be in support for each other and that's the only way we're getting through each day," said teammate Brandon Woodward.

The families of both Lavin and Higgins attended the game.

"It's beautiful, it's beautiful we got a great community here," said Joe Lavin, James' father. "Falmouth has a great hockey program, great love here. A lot of love."

With a special tribute painted into the ice, it is not hard to understand why the rink has become somewhat of a sanctuary for the team.

higgins and lavin
James Lavin and Owen Higgins. (Images Credit: Falmouth Clippers/Facebook)

"Once we got back at the rink, the smiles came back, a little laughter came back, they started talking about Higgy and Lav a lot and telling stories," Coach Moore said.

As the puck dropped, many started to feel that some normalcy was returning for the team and the town.

Falmouth won 5-0, but townspeople recognize a tough emotional road lies ahead.

"There's no road map for it, there's no right or wrong way to move forward, you know we have to, but we do it with a lot of compassion," Coach Moore said.

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