BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — Army hockey coach Brian Riley is crediting a team trainer with potentially saving the life of forward Eric Huss, who suffered a severe neck injury caused by a skate during a game at Sacred Heart on Thursday.
Huss, a junior from Dallas, Texas, caught an inadvertent skate to the neck in the second period of Army’s 5-0 loss to the Pioneers in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Trainer Rachel Leahy rushed into action and took measures to control the bleeding, team officials said.
Huss was recovering and expected to return to the West Point campus Friday after undergoing surgery at a hospital.
Stephanie Clines, Director of the Master of Science Athletic Training Program at Sacred Heart University spoke with News 8 on Friday night to discuss the importance of having a trained medical professional on-site during sports games.
“Not everybody even has access to an athletic trainer. It’s very important at least to have a trained medical professional on-site that can do that initial acute care before transitioning care to your EMS and working with EMS,” Clines said.
The team posted a photo on social media Friday of Huss in a hospital bed giving a thumbs up.
“A terrible tragedy was avoided tonight because of the quick action of our trainer and the medical staff that were in the arena tonight,” Riley tweeted. “Grateful that our player will be ok because of them.”
The injury came almost exactly a year after a Connecticut high school hockey player died from a similar neck wound from a skate.
On Jan. 6 of last year, Benjamin Edward “Teddy” Balkind, 16, a member of the hockey team at the private coeducational St. Luke’s School in New Canaan, died following a game at the Brunswick School, a college preparatory school in Greenwich for boys. His death spurred calls to examine safety equipment in youth sports.