A Quebec family is in mourning after a nine-year-old boy died while skating alone on an outdoor rink early Saturday morning.

The boy, identified as Javier Alexis Urquiaga, had gone to his local outdoor rink in Saint-Severin around 8 a.m. Saturday to get in some extra hockey practice before a game later in the day.

An hour later, construction workers on a job site nearby looked over and saw the boy lying under a heavy hockey net. He was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Quebec provincial police are calling the death an accident.

Meanwhile, family members gathered at the rink Sunday to remember a boy who loved hockey.

“He came here every day, before and after school,” his aunt, Cathy Chasson, told CTV Montreal. She called the boy “a ray of sunshine for everyone.”

Urquiaga’s death touched residents across Saint-Severin, a small community about 250 kilometres northeast of Montreal.

“For sure it’s difficult,” one neighbour said. “We lost a young child.”

The coroner’s office is continuing to investigate.

With a report from CTV Montreal’s Kevin Gallagher