Teen’s jugular slashed during hockey practice

Michael Spinner, a high school hockey player from Prior Lake is recovering from a life threatening injury, after his teammate's skate sliced open his jugular vein June 28. Photo Courtesy NBC News

EDINA, Minn. (KARE) – A high school hockey player from Prior Lake is recovering from a life threatening injury, after his teammate’s skate sliced open his jugular vein June 28.

“His leg had kicked up when I was reaching for the puck, and it caught me on the side of my jugular,” said Michael Spinner. “I then saw blood come out of my neck, and I rushed immediately off the ice.”

The team from Holy Family Catholic High School was practicing at Braemar Arena in Edina when the accident happened.

Michael’s coaches held a hockey sock against the wound until an ambulance could arrive.

“The coaching staff are really the heroes in this,” said Bob Spinner, Michael’s dad. “They basically saved my son’s life. He would have bled out before the ambulance arrived had they not done what they did.”

Spinner says his son lost 30 percent of his blood volume before doctors at HCMC could repair his jugular.

Michael showed up to practice Friday, but says he won’t skate for another eight days.

“They have cleared me to go the the USA National Development Camp, and I’ll be there in ten days,” said Michael. “Back on the ice.”

He says when he starts playing again, he’ll wear a neck guard.

“I would much rather be uncomfortable wearing a neck guard than have to ever go through this experience ever again,” said Michael.

Michael’s coach says he’ll require his team to wear neck guards next season, and Michael’s dad is advocating all high school players to use neck guards.

“Had he been wearing a neck guard, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation,” said Spinner.

Spinner says he hope’s Michael’s story encourages the Minnesota State High School League and youth hockey associations across the nation to mandate neck guards.