An 11-year-old boy has died after being struck in the neck by a hockey puck during a practice game in Saint-Eustache, Quebec. His death was announced in a statement Friday morning.
The unsigned statement from the city offered their deepest condolences to his family and friends. They also said their thoughts are with his loved ones, teammates, and the sporting community.
The local police department released a similar statement saying that they had already notified the coroner’s office and that they would be examining the circumstances and causes behind his death. The boy’s identity has not yet been released to the public.
According to police, an 11-year-old boy was accidentally struck by a hockey puck during an evening practice game. They had received the 911 call at approximately 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
Ambulances and medical teams immediately rushed to the ice arena on Arthur-Sauve Boulevard, where the hockey game was taking place. The boy was taken to Saint-Eustache, a Montreal hospital, where he was transferred to the intensive care unit.
Despite their best efforts, however, he ultimately succumbed to his injuries.
After his death was confirmed on Friday, a bouquet was left outside the hockey area.
The Laurentians Regional Health Board is currently offering psychological support to those who are involved in the tragic incident – one that has shaken the city terribly, according to Mayor Pierre Charron.
Jean-Philippe Labreche, who leads the minor hockey association, released a news release the morning after the tragic incident, stating that they understand the impact of the event on everyone present at the game, including volunteers and parents.
The case also raises the issue of hockey safety – especially for the neck area.
This October, 29-year-old professional hockey player, Adam Johnson, died after he was accidentally cut in the neck by a skate blade during a Challenge Cup match in England. His death was considered a ‘freak accident’ by the Nottingham Panthers, the hockey club that he was a part of.
He was not wearing a neck guard at the time.
According to Trent McCleary, a former professional hockey player who suffered a career-ending injury on the ice during an NHL game, however, equipment doesn’t provide the player with adequate protection against hard, direct impact.
McCleary, who played for the Montreal team in 2000, suffered a fractured larynx after being hit by a puck, which put his life in danger. While he wasn’t wearing a neck guard, he stated in a phone interview that it probably ‘wouldn’t have mattered’ as it was such a high-speed slam.
On X (formerly Twitter), The Montreal Canadiens issued a statement, saying that the organization is sad to learn about the 11-year-old boy’s death. Quebec’s sports minister, Isabelle Charest, also offered their condolences to his friends, family, and teammates.
So far, no details have been provided on the boy’s hockey team or the level that he played at.