River Kings forward Alexandre Gauthier continues to fight for his life in a Quebec hospital, but his condition has improved according to head coach Bob Desjardins.
“I’ve seen Alex twice this week in the hospital,” said Desjardins, who is very close with the 26-year-old. “It was very tough to see him like that but yesterday there was progress.”
Gauthier is still in a coma but doctors have stopped his medication to see how his body will react.
“The doctor said that his condition is improving but he’s not out of the woods yet,” said Desjardins. “We have to continue praying.”
Gauthier was involved in a head-on collision in Saint-Gédéon, QC, on Feb. 26.
“Alex is a warrior and he will survive this,” said Desjardins. “That I’m sure of.”
His No. 82 jersey will be hung on the River Kings bench this Saturday when Cornwall hosts Jonquiere at the Civic Complex. The Marquis are one of three LNAH teams Gauthier has suited up for. In 41 career LNAH games, Gauthier has 185 penalty minutes.
Fans will also be able to sign a giant ‘Get Well’ poster for Gauthier on Saturday night.
In the meantime, a “Go Fund Me” page has been set up to raise funds for the popular player, who’s girlfriend gave birth to a baby boy on Dec. 31.
The team is hoping to raise $5,000 to go toward the young family. You can donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/SUPPORTAKING. The team will also be accepting donations on Saturday night.
The goal is to present the raised funds and poster to a representative of the Gauthier family prior to the River Kings first playoff game.
Saturday promises to be an emotional night at the Civic Complex with Gauthier’s former team in town. There are also playoff implications as the LNAH regular season wraps up this weekend.
Jonquiere currently holds a one-point lead over Riviere-du-Loup for top spot in the LNAH standings. The team that finishes first draws Cornwall in Round 1.
Jonquiere hosts Laval on Friday night before their regular-season finale at the Civic Complex on Saturday night. Riviere-du-Loup, meanwhile, has a home-and-home this weekend with Saint-Georges (Friday at RDL and Sunday at Saint-Georges).