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World's oldest hockey player, Mark Sertich of Duluth, dies at 99

A legend from the State of Hockey.

The world's oldest hockey player died Monday at the age of 99. A family friend told KBJR that Mark Sertich died at his home in West Duluth. 

The Star Tribune reports that Sertich last skated in early July, which proved to be the final time he broke his own mark as the Guinness World Records record-holder for the oldest ice hockey player, which he set two days after his 96th birthday while playing in the Snoopy's Senior World Hockey Tournament, in Santa Rosa, California. 

Sertich suffered a stroke last week, the Star Tribune reported. 

In a video interview with Great Big Story in 2018, Sertich said he had about 85 years of playing hockey under his belt and was still playing three times a week. Sertich played with a group of mostly retired firefighters, and credited the sport and buddies with giving him a sense of belonging.

"At my age, it's a wonderful way of being connected with younger people, and I think that's very important for an older person. I'm so fortunate that it's given me a chance to be involved. It's really the best thing that's ever happened to me," he said in the 2018 interview.

Sertich was always hockey tough. When he was 94, he fell on the ice and suffered two fractured ribs and a punctured lung. But not even those injuries could keep him off the ice.

If you're interested in learning more about Sertich, here's a profile from Duluth News Tribune and another interview about a commercial he was in.

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