Matt Thurber, who played as a rookie for the Condors during the 2013-14 season, died Monday night in Omaha, Nebraska.

He was 28. The nature of his death has not been disclosed.

Thurber had 42 points (11 goals, 31 assists) in 55 games during the regular season for the Condors and nearly lost his life to a torn esophagus on the morning of a Condors ECHL playoff game against the Utah Grizzlies on April 18, 2014.

Thurber’s condition that day was so critical due to blood loss that he was flown by helicopter from a regional hospital to a critical care unit in Salt Lake City where his life was saved.

Twenty-three days after he was whisked to the Salt Lake City hospital, Thurber made an improbable return to the lineup for the Condors in Stockton. The Condors, closed out the Western Conference semifinals with a come-from-behind 5-3 victory, thanks in part to Thurber’s strong play as the game went on.

Thurber did not score in that game, but closed out the season with four assists in the Western Conference finals against Alaska which the Condors lost in six games.

That was the only season Thurber played pro hockey.

He is survived by a wife and 1-year-old daughter.

Thurber is the second player from that team to die this year. Andrew Carroll committed suicide in Chicago in January.

Mike Griffith can be reached at 661 395-7390. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeGriffith54. 

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