National News

Hockey player's death was flu-related

Posted January 17, 2018 12:44 p.m. EST

— A Connecticut community is in mourning after the death of a 10-year-old in New York this weekend.

Dr. David Reed, the New Canaan health director, confirmed to Channel 3 on Tuesday that Fourth-grader Nico Mallozzi contracted the flu, which caused a pneumonia complication that lead to sepsis and death.

Nico, who was from New Canaan, was in Buffalo, NY for the Cup - North American Championship hockey tournament. However, Nico did not play any games with his team, the Connecticut Roughriders Hockey Club.

Officials from The Cup - North American Championship hockey tournament said Nico actually left the tournament early because he was sick the entire weekend. Nico suddenly passed away at the hospital on Sunday morning.

"When a young student passes away like this unexpectedly," New Canaan Superintendent Dr. Bryan Luizzi said. "It's very, very tough."

Luizzi said it's been a difficult two days since getting the news about the death of Nico, who attended West Elementary School and played defenseman for the team based out of South Norwalk.

"He was absolutely a hockey player, his whole family, they're hockey players," Luizzi said. "But, Nico was a very lively, vibrant spirited kid."

Reed said anyone, or their family member, had contact with the boy or his brother, they should contact a pediatrician to decide whether or not to get Tamiflu, which is a flu-prevention medication.

New Canaan Public Schools superintendent Bryan Luizzi issued a statement on Monday.

It is with a sad heart that I share with you that Nico Mallozzi, fourth-grade student at West, unexpectedly passed away this morning. At this point, the cause is unknown

Nico was a wonderful, friendly child, known throughout West as the voice of the afternoon announcements that concluded each day. He will be sadly missed and fondly remembered.

You are welcome to join us at West on Monday morning between 10:00 - 12:00 to be together in love and support.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Nico's parents and his family, and we stand ready to support each of them in every way possible in the time ahead.

I know you join me in keeping them in our hearts.

The Connecticut Roughriders also issued a statement on its webpage:

It is with a heavy heart that the entire CT ROUGHRIDERS organization (players, family, coaches and managers) shares the news of the sudden passing of one of our 07 players, Nico Mallozzi.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mallozzi family right now.

It is a very sad day for all of us, Nico was a great kid with a great smile and he will be missed greatly.

We will never forget you, Nico.

Luizzi said Nico was a great kid, known throughout the school. He added Nico, who each day right before dismissal, would be the voice for the school's afternoon announcements.

"Everyone in the building knows Nico, knows who he is and just loved him," Luizzi said. "We're really going to miss him and remember him very fondly."

Because of the holiday, there was no school on Monday, but the district, opened up the West Elementary School to make sure students had a place to go if they needed someone to talk to.

On Tuesday, it was learned that the boy's brother is now hospitalized after showing flu symptoms, but he's showing signs of progress and is recovering.

A GoFundMe page was set up for the family and can be found here.