MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The Minnesota hockey community is mourning the loss of 20-year-old Mack Motzko, who died in a Saturday night crash.
Motzko, a 2020 graduate of St. Cloud Cathedral High School, is the son of University of Minnesota hockey coach Bob Motzko. According to the Associated Press, Motzko died in an overnight crash in Orono, Minnesota.
Authorities say the Orono Police Department responded at about 11:47 p.m. to a fatal accident in the area of North Shore Drive and Bohns Point Road, near Lake Minnetonka. A vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed before leaving the road and striking several trees.
When officers arrived, a 24-year-old male who was a front passenger in the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene and two others, including a 51-year-old male, were taken to North Memorial Hospital with critical injuries. Mack Motzko, reportedly in the back seat of the vehicle, was taken to North Memorial where he was later pronounced dead.
The Minnesota State Patrol is assisting the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office in investigating the crash. Authorities say it appears alcohol and speed were factors in the crash.
In a statement on Sunday, Bob Motzko said: "Our hearts are shattered by the loss of our Mack. No bigger heart or young man loved than this kid. Thanks to all who have reached out. He is my hero!"
Mack played hockey for St. Cloud Cathedral, and the school released a statement on Sunday.
"To a great captain, an outstanding player, a fantastic teammate, and most importantly an unbelievable person, we are going to miss you so much. You left an indelible mark on our program and with every person who interacted with your infectious personality. We love you Mack. We also extend our deepest condolences and prayers to the Motzko family during this extremely difficult time. You are all loved by so many in our community."
Mack Motzko played in two state tournaments with St. Cloud Cathedral. He also played one season at Minnetonka after Bob was hired as the Gophers’ hockey coach in 2018. He played last year with the Sioux Falls Stampede of the United States Hockey League, and with the New Mexico Ice Wolves of the North American Hockey League.
Several well-known figures in the Minnesota hockey community have taken to social media to offer condolences to the Motzko family, including Pat Micheletti, Mark Parrish, Lou Nanne and the St. Cloud State hockey program, where Bob was a long-time coach before being hired as Gophers' coach.
University of Minnesota Athletic Director Mark Coyle also released a statement on Sunday.
"We are devastated for Bob, Shelley, their family and all involved," said Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle. "This is an unimaginable tragedy, and we will do everything we can to support those affected. We ask for privacy for the families, as they mourn the loss of loved ones."