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Two former Pembroke hockey stars remembered at funeral Mass

“The death of these two wonderful young men at the beginning of their lives wrenches us,” the Rev. Joseph S. McCarthy told the crowd of mourners, each group separated by a row of pews. “It breaks our hearts.”

Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff
James Hill paused at a roadside memorial for Joey Berolini and Billy Hickey, two hockey players who graduated from Pembroke High School in 2016 and were killed in a car crash on Elm Street at the intersection of Mountain Ash Lane. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)

Two former Pembroke High School hockey stars who were killed in a car crash last weekend were mourned by family and friends in a joint service Saturday morning.

“The death of these two wonderful young men at the beginning of their lives wrenches us,” the Rev. Joseph S. McCarthy told the crowd of mourners, each group separated by a row of pews. “It breaks our hearts.”

People wearing jerseys and carrying hockey sticks lined the roads on the way to St. Thecla’s Church in Pembroke where a funeral Mass was said for Joseph Birolini and William Hickey late Saturday morning.

With attendance limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, more than 900 watched the service on a livestream.

Birolini, of Hanson, and Hickey, of Pembroke, both 23, were killed in an early morning crash on April 17. Speed and inclement weather are believed to be factors in the crash, Plymouth District Attorney Timothy Cruz said.

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