© Submitted photo
Ringette player Brynn Van Wiechen was struck in the eye by a puck at the Islanders game on March 27, ending her season.
Five minutes into the second period of the Islanders game on March 27 and a renegade puck flew into the stands, hitting 18-year-old Brynn Van Wiechen in the eye.
Van Wiechen is the captain of the P.E.I. under-19 ringette team, but her season was cut short due to the injury.
“I was sitting, watching from the third row of section 21,” she said. “They were missing a piece of glass behind the Islanders bench.”
A faceoff took place in front of where Van Wiechen was sitting. As she turned her head to face the game, the puck came flying her way, hitting her in the eye and breaking six facial bones.
“Troy Vance hit the puck,” she explained. “It deflected off a Halifax player and into the stands where it hit me in my left eye.”
Van Wiechen said the team doctor rushed over and slowed the bleeding. She was then taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to consult both a bone and eye doctor.
Today, Van Wiechen’s eye has healed somewhat but still has a long way to go.
“I went from zero vision to 85 per cent vision back in my eye,” she said. “I’ll probably never get full vision back. They think there will always be a little black spot in my eye where the puck hit.”
The injury came just a week before her team’s participation in the national championships in Saskatchewan, where Van Wiechen stayed home.
“It sucks so much because I’m the team captain and it meant a lot to me to go,” she said.
Van Wiechen said her coaches were also upset by the news, along with some teammates who cried when they found out.
“They’re really sad,” she explained. “We’re a really close team.”
Van Wiechen has received a number of calls from both the general manager and the players of the Islanders hockey team, one of which is her boyfriend.
“They feel terrible,” she said. “Hopefully they’ll do something about the glass.”
Van Wiechen hopes to be well enough to step back onto the ice by the end of the month so she can compete for a place on the provincial team for the 2015 Canada Games.