Former Michigan hockey player Scott Matzka dies from ALS

Posted at 2:05 PM, Dec 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-16 17:57:09-05

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) -- Former Michigan hockey player Scott Matzka passed away following a battle with ALS, the program announced Sunday.

Matzka was 40 years old.

"Scott was a great player, tremendous teammate and true champion," Michigan head coach Mel Pearson said in a release. "My thoughts and prayers are with the Matzka family during this difficult time."

Matzka, who played on the Wolverines' 1998 National Championship team, was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) three years ago. He started "My Turn," which helps raise awareness and funds to help fight ALS.

"It's very important because you never know who is in the stands," Matzka told MGoBlue in October about the importance of supporting 'My Turn.' "A donor to help the cause, a student who might go into neurology to help cure ALS, or someone who can relate to that is inspired by the message."

Matzka appeared in Ann Arbor in October as part of a 20th anniversary championship celebration and team reunion. The team held its annual ALS Awareness Game two weeks later on October 26.

Matzka is survived by his wife, Catie, and two kids, Reese and Owen.