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Special Forces Soldier With Ties To NHL Dies In Afghanistan (Video)

Sgt. 1st Class Michael A. Cathcart
U.S. Army
Sgt. 1st Class Michael A. Cathcart

A Special Forces soldier who make headlines when he practiced with the Carolina Hurricanes hockey team last March has died in Afghanistan.

Sgt. 1st Class Michael A. Cathcart, 31, was killed by small arms fire in Kunduz Province on Nov. 14, according to the Department of Defense.

He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

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Cathcart grew up in Michigan and was a passionate hockey fan. Last March, he was able to practice with the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes when the team took to the ice at Fort Bragg's Cleland Ice Rink.

Cathcart said at the time about skating with the pros:

“A lot of these guys I’ve seen on TV over the years. The biggest one was Rod Brind’Amour. That was kind of cool. Just the experience of being able to see people you idolize and everything, that was pretty cool.”

Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis released a statement upon learning of Cathcart's passing:

"People throw around the word 'hero' too easily sometimes, but Mike Cathcart was a true hero...<br><br>We are grateful for that day we were able to spend with him and the impact he left on our team. On behalf of the Hurricanes organization, I send heartfelt condolences to his family and his unit."
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