Whitby Dunlops honour Don Sanderson, player who died Jan. 2. after fight

WHITBY, Ont. – It’s hockey night in Whitby, Ontario, but tonight’s game has special meaning to community residents and to the Whitby Dunlops.

Don Sanderson’s number 40 will be raised to the rafters in a tribute to the player who died on Jan. 2.

Sanderson fell into a coma after his bare head hit the ice during a fight in a game in Brantford, Ont. in December.

His mother, Dahna Sanderson, said she is overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of support from the community.

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Sanderson’s teammates say while his death is still fresh, they will feel his presence when they take the ice and Saturday night’s game, which is also against Brantford, will be all about Don.

Sanderson’s death sparked a broad debate in the hockey community about fighting and rules surrounding use of helmets in the game.