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Army Hockey Trainer Credited With Saving Life of Player Whose Neck Got Cut by Skate

Army hockey coach Brian Riley credited a team trainer with saving the life of forward Eric Huss, who suffered a severe neck injury caused by a skate during a game at Sacred Heart University.

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, on Jan. 5. Trainer Rachel Leahy rushed into action and took measures to control the bleeding, team officials said.

Huss recovered and returned to the West Point campus on Jan. 6 after undergoing surgery at a hospital.

“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 wrote on Twitter on Jan. 5. “Grateful that our player will be ok because of them.”

The team posted a photo on social media on Jan. 6 of Huss in a hospital bed giving a thumbs up.

The Atlantic Hockey Association on Jan. 9 honored trainer Leahy as player of the week for saving Huss’s life.

Leahy was also honored for her action before Jan. 8’s home game against Providence. The crowd gave her a standing ovation, and both teams applauded her with stick taps from their blue line.

Huss’s 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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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