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Injuries plague men’s hockey game

November 16, 2006

Hunt Arena was silenced Saturday as two hockey-related injuries ended in trips to the hospital for UW-River Falls sophomore Chris Robinson, defenseman for the Falcon men’s squad, and UWRF junior Renae Bergh, a member of the women’s hockey team.

The Falcons hosted St. John’s University.

At 08:43 in the second period, Gabriel Harren of the Johnnies hit Robinson from behind, sending him into the boards, and leaving him motionless on the ice. Men’s hockey Trainer Gary “Stump” Eloranta and emergency medical workers on the scene quickly responded to the situation, examining the injured Falcon and removing him from the ice.

“Our trainer, Stump, and the EMTs did a tremendous job,” men’s coach Steve Freeman said. “Our hats are off to them for their professionalism.”

Robinson was transported via ambulance to the hospital, where he received treatment for a sprained neck, and was later released.

“Chris was released after some tests on Saturday after the game,” Freeman said. “He is sore, but is cleared and did some light skating [Tuesday]. We are certainly relieved it didn’t turn out to be serious.”

Harren was charged with two penalties for his conduct on the ice, five minutes for checking from behind and 10 minutes for game   misconduct.

A minute or so after play resumed, a hockey puck careened off the ice and into the stands, hitting Bergh in the face and lacerating her nose.

“I suffered a broken nose in two places and received six stitches,” she said.

Eloranta was also able to assist to Bergh after she was hit by the puck.

“I was tended to within seconds of the impact,” Bergh said. “I was lucky, because the trainer was on his way back to the bench from tending to Chris Robinson.”

Bergh said she was discussing Robinson’s injury with one of her friends when the puck left the ice, so she was unaware that it was headed in her direction.

“Always keep your eye on the puck, especially if the play is near where you are sitting,” Bergh said. “Most spectator injuries happen because people are not paying attention to what is going on on the ice.”

Bergh’s injury will not negatively impact her participation on the women’s team.

“I will not be practicing for a few days to let the injury heal a bit and let the swelling go down, but otherwise I should be back on the ice by the end of this week,” she said.

Women’s hockey coach Joe Cranston is not expecting Saturday’s incident to cause Bergh to miss any games.

“I don’t think a broken nose or a couple black eyes will keep her out of the lineup,” he said.

The University is not liable for any injuries caused by pucks flying into the stands, so those who choose to attend the hockey games do so at their own risk.

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