Las Vegas Mustangs
2001-02 AAA Southwest YHL Champions
2001-02 Pacific District Tier II Champions
Sean Darby back row, 3rd from left
SEAN DARBY PASSES – PLAYED FOR 2001-02 LAS VEGAS MUSTANGS 18U – THE FIRST AA LAS VEGAS TEAM TO PLAY IN US NATIONALS
By Lee Samuels
Las Vegas – Sean Darby, one of the heartbeats of a Rob Pallin-coached 2001-02 AA Las Vegas Mustangs midget team which was the first to play in the U.S. Nationals, has passed away.
He died of liver failure, according to a former linemate Justin Grossman who contacted teammates today.
“I’m just so speechless – so young,” said hockey mom Patty Del Grosso, whose son Eddie was a star defenseman on Mustangs. “I ran into the Grossman’s and spoke to (hockey mom) Janet who had stopped up to see Sean on Sunday. I am just heartbroken for his little brother Ryan.”
“Sean had a huge personality – he always kept you smiling in the locker room – he was bigger than life,” said teammate Eddie Samuels.
Darby played on the ‘Gold Line’ with Sean Fox and Grossman.
“Darby, Fox and Grossman was a fierce line. They played hard, finished their checks and wore down the big teams enabling players like Eddie Samuels, Adam Naglich and Josh Jasek to score their goals,” said head coach Rob Pallin, who called from where he is now coaching in Hungary. “Darby, Fox and Grossman were difficult to play against in the biggest of games.
“Sean was very likeable. For a big player, he skated well. This is so sad,” Pallin said.
While playing for Las Vegas, Sean always said he would next play professional hockey and his goal was the NHL.
But after the last Mustangs game – when the team was eliminated at the U.S. Nationals, Sean was one of the last to leave. He was upset and wept when he came out of the locker room to head home.
“Sean played with all his heart,” Pallin said. “But after our season I only saw him one time. I think Sean played in an Alumni game at the rink. I never saw him again.”
LAS VEGAS MUSTANGS — 57-10-3
U.S. NATIONALS AT SAN JOSE
LW-Adam Naglich 47/58
C-Josh Jasek 58/70
RW-Eddie Samuels 42/54
LW-J.C. Caron 16/29
C-Travis Roseberry 22/28
RW-Spike Neely 18/9
LW-Sean Darby 17/18
C-Justin Grossman 17/28
RW-Sean Fox 10/11
Also: Mike Sullivan 21/12
Eddie Del Grosso 20/36
Justin Johnson 9/28
Josh Shiode 1/23
T.J. Craig 7/13
Steve Novotny 3/10
Chris Anderson 0/13
Cody Fulwiler 31-8-2, 1.72
Paul Lowden 26-2-1, 1.75