JOHNSTOWN, Penn. – Johnstown Tomahawks veteran defenseman and team captain, Chris Trouba, suffered a severe neck injury at the beginning of the second period Saturday night versus the Maryland Black Bears.
As he was attempting to make a pass, Trouba was pushed into the boards and landed awkwardly head first. He laid prone on the ice for several minutes until he was able to be safely stretchered out of the arena and transported by ambulance to Conemaugh Hospital.
A CT scan revealed that he had sustained a broken C-6 vertebrae in his neck. Luckily for Chris, his spinal cord was not compromised by the fracture and was not paralyzed as a result.
“For sure, it could have been a lot worse.” Tomahawks head coach, Mike Letizia, said. “It’s hard to put into words as a coach when an unfortunate situation like that occurs. Chris has been the heart and soul of our team for many years, and it was a horrible moment in our game last night against the Black Bears. Although he did suffer a fracture to his neck, thankfully it was not much worse.”
Trouba will now need to wear a neck brace for a minimum of eight weeks, if not longer. Both him and the Tomahawks organization are thankful for the quick response time from team medical staff, Dr. Alex Pozun of Conemaugh Hospital, and the EMS from West End Ambulance, who were able to stabilize Trouba within seconds the incident occurring.
“It’s hard to put into words the emotion that we felt watching from the stands,” said Tomahawks President, Richard Bouchard, “but we are so grateful to our medical staff for taking control of the situation immediately and taking good care of Chris.”
Entering his fourth season with the Tomahawks, Trouba has become a pivotal team leader and a mainstay on the Johnstown blue line. The Auburn Hills, MI native was looking to build off his previous season, where he put up 18 points (five goals and 13 assists) in 54 games.
The good news is that the 6’3″ defenseman is expected to fully recover and resume is promising hockey career.
The Tomahawks organization would like to thank their fans for their support and words of encouragement for Chris over the last 24 hours.