As soon as Luca Di Pasquo and Hank Levy walked inside the sauna room at Penticton’s community centre last week, they knew something was wrong.
The Penticton Vees’ goaltending tandem is not only making saves on the ice but off it as well, after the two teamed up to help an elderly man out of the hot sauna when he was left alone unconscious.
It was on Wednesday, Nov, 2, at around 1 p.m. when Di Pasquo and Levy arrived at the centre and noticed a man in his 70s, hunched over in the sauna and unresponsive to anyone around him.
Though others at the facility believed he was just taking a nap, the goalies weren’t taking any chances.
“We started nudging him and he wasn’t responding, so we took it upon ourselves to carry him out,” Levy recalled. “Then, we laid him on the floor, lifeguards came to do their thing and then the ambulance arrived.”
The duo, who call themselves best friends despite meeting just a few months ago, say they were immediately concerned about the man’s well-being.
“It was obvious that something was wrong from the beginning,” Di Pasquo said.
Somebody else at the facility notified a lifeguard about the situation while the goalies were carrying the man out of the sauna.
Representatives from the team say the man is expected to make a full recovery, with Di Pasquo adding his condition had noticeably improved while he was being stretched out of the centre by paramedics.
“We played such a small part in the whole situation but it’s nice to help someone when they’re in need,” Di Pasquo said. “In the moment, we knew we had to help him.”
Both goalies are in the midst of their first year with the Vees.
Levy, a 20-year-old from Salt Lake City, Utah, thinks of his father when reflecting on saving the man.
“My dad was always the type to help someone,” he said.
Di Pasquo, meanwhile, has similar feelings.
“Last summer, me and my dad watched someone on a motorcycle get t-boned outside my friend’s driveway and we all ran over to help out,” the 19-year-old from Livonia, Mich. recalled. “That day taught me when something like that ever happens again, always jump in to help.”
Di Pasquo and Levy say their newfound friendship comes from the familiar bond goaltenders across the hockey world usually share.
And after teaming up at the sauna, their friendship will only become stronger.
The goalies say Fred Harbinson, Penticton’s head coach, general manager and president, informed the rest of the team in the locker room about the incident the next day.
“He was proud,” Di Pasquo added. “He always talks about representing the Vees well outside of the rink.”