The tragic story of Jack Jablonski, a high school hockey player paralyzed when he was hit from behind in a game, is clearly on the mind of other hockey players.
That much is clear from this fight that broke out Thursday night in a game between Winona and Owatonna when a player was checked from behind, a hit similar to the one that severed Jablonski’s spinal cord (Video from HBC-TV by way of KARE 11).
Ten players were tossed out and will receive one-game suspensions.
“I think it was an overreaction to what the situation was,” Winona coach Fran McDevitt told KARE.
“Two weeks ago, our guys don’t react that way,” he told the Star Tribune.
The Minnesota State High School League is recommending to coaches that they remind their players not to check from behind. The message hasn’t entirely gotten through, and it’ll be a difficult for many players to ignore what has become instinctive. Until Jablonski’s tragic injury, few people thought a typical hockey check could have such horrible consequences.