Pair of B.C. goalies save unconscious elderly man at local sauna room

As soon as Luca Di Pasquo and Hank Levy walked into the Penticton Community Center’s sauna last week, they knew something was wrong.

The Penticton Vees goalkeeper tandem made a save not only on the ice, but also on the ice, after the pair teamed up to help an elderly man out of a hot sauna when he was unconscious on his own.

Di Pasquo and Levy arrived at the center around 1pm on Wednesday, November 2, to notice a man in his 70s bent over in the sauna, unresponsive to anyone around him.

Although others at the facility thought he was just taking a nap, the goalkeeper didn’t take any chances.

“We started nudging him, but he didn’t respond, so we took him away ourselves,” recalls Levy. “Then, we put him on the floor, the lifeguards did their thing, and the ambulance came.”

Despite meeting only a few months ago, the duo, who describe themselves as best friends, said they were immediately concerned for the man’s well-being.

“Obviously, there were problems from the start,” Deepasco said.

Others at the facility notified lifeguards of the situation when the goalkeeper carried the man out of the sauna.

A representative for the team said the man was expected to make a full recovery, and Deepasco added that when he was pulled from the center by paramedics, his condition was significantly better.

“We’ve played such a small role in the whole situation, but it’s good to help them when they need it,” Deepasco said. “In that moment, we knew we had to help him.”

Both goalies are in their first years with the Vees.

Levy, 20, from Salt Lake City, Utah, thought of his father as he considered saving lives.

“My dad was always the kind of guy who helped people,” he said.

Meanwhile, Deepasco felt similarly.

“Last summer, my dad and I saw a motorcyclist get run over outside my friend’s driveway, and we all ran to help,” recalls the 19-year-old from Livonia, Michigan. “That day taught me to always lend a hand when something like this happens again.”

Di Pasquo and Levy say their newfound friendship comes from a familiar bond that goalkeepers in hockey often share.

And after working together in the sauna, their friendship only grew stronger.

Penticton head coach, general manager and president Fred Harbinson notified the rest of the team in the locker room the next day, the goalie said.

“He’s very proud,” Deepasco added. “He always talks about representing Vees outside the rink.”

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