Murray River's Brandon Gormley is counting his lucky stars after a scary on-ice incident saw him rushed to a Shawinigan hospital when he was cut in the throat by a skate Saturday night.
The freak injury occurred in the final moments of the Cataractes' Quebec Major Junior Hockey League home game versus the league-leading Saint John Sea Dogs.
With Saint John leading 2-1 and Shawinigan goalie Gabriel Girard pulled for the extra attacker, Gormley dove to knock the puck away from Sea Dogs' star Charlie Coyle.
In the process, the heel of Coyle's skate came up and struck him in the throat.
The skate just missed Gormley's jugular, leaving a two-and-a-half inch cut on the left side of his neck.
"I knew I was cut," Gormley told The Guardian. "I took off my glove and put pressure on it right away."
He immediately skated to the Cataractes' bench, where he received aid from team personnel before being rushed to a local hospital by ambulance.
"They kind of panicked more than I did," the 19-year-old said of the team's medical staff. "It was pretty scary. I didn't know the severity of it. But every nurse and doctor had a disgusted look on their face. They were all saying how lucky I was."
Gormley was wearing a neck guard.
The bleeding stopped prior to his arrival at the hospital, where he ended up waiting six hours, due to a multitude of emergency incidents.
Gormley eventually received two stitches.
The highly-billed matchup between the league's top two clubs ended with Saint John winning by a score of 2-1.
"He's a lucky boy," Gormley's mother, Sharon, said Sunday evening in Prince Edward Island.
As usual, she and husband Darren were spending the night watching their son's game through an internet webcast.
When the incident initially occurred, they did not realize how serious their son's injury was.
"The play happened so quick on the camera," Sharon Gormley said. "We had no idea he was hurt like that."
Cataractes' assistant GM Roger Shannon was quick to call the Gormleys and fill them in. He kept them updated throughout the process.
"It certainly was very frightening," Sharon Gormley said. "It's not a nice feeling, but we were confident everything was O.K."
Brandon Gormley called his parents when he was released from the hospital at approximately 3 a.m. AT.
The young Islander said he was thankful for all of the encouraging messages he has received from concerned friends.
Gormley was flooded with text messages and emails of support.
The throat injury wasn't the only wound he suffered in the loss.
Gormley also bruised his left foot on an early collision that saw him slide feet-first into the boards.
"It was a rough game," he admitted. "I know I'm pretty fortunate."
He hopes to suit up for Shawinigan's next game, at home Wednesday night versus the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
Cataractes' forward Kirill Kabanov was also injured in Saturday's game, suffering a concussion.