Saint-Eustache, Quebec – An 11-year-old boy tragically lost his life this week after being hit in the neck by a puck during a routine ice hockey practice. The boy, whose identity has not been disclosed, was struck by the puck “while participating in a regular exercise,” according to the Saint-Eustache police.
Emergency responders were summoned to the Complexe Walter-Buswell in the Montreal suburb on Tuesday evening at approximately 7 p.m. local time, as reported by the BBC. Despite wearing protective gear, including a neck guard, the boy sustained critical injuries and was immediately transported to the hospital.
After spending several days in intensive care, the young hockey player passed away on Friday, devastating his family and the local hockey community. The Saint-Eustache Minor Hockey Association expressed their deep sorrow over the incident, with Jean-Philippe Labrèche, the association’s president, extending his heartfelt condolences to the grieving family and friends.
This heartbreaking event in Quebec comes just six weeks after the death of former NHL player Adam Johnson, who was killed by a skate slash to the neck. The sport of hockey has once again been reminded of the inherent dangers players face, even with the use of safety equipment.
Quebec’s Minister for Sport, Isabelle Charest, described the tragedy as “sadness without words,” emphasizing the profound impact it has had on the entire community. Meanwhile, a memorial has been set up outside the Complexe Walter-Buswell arena, a sobering reminder of the young life lost too soon.
The accident serves as a somber reminder of the risks involved in ice hockey, even for young players. As families and communities mourn the loss, there are renewed calls for increased safety measures, training, and awareness to prevent similar incidents in the future.
To support the grieving family, institutions, and professionals in the hockey community must continue to prioritize player safety and work together towards minimizing the risks associated with the sport.