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Skate Blade Slices Player’s Artery

October 26, 1998

BELL ISLAND, Newfoundland (AP) _ A junior hockey player nearly died when an artery near his armpit was sliced open by a skate blade during a game.

Dion Durdle underwent 3 1-2 hours of surgery after the injury on Saturday night, and the next day he was out of intensive care and receiving visitors.

``Everybody in the rink was in an unbelievable state of shock, because the amount of blood on the ice was frightening,″ coach Dave Brazil said. ``In an instant, his jersey went from white to red.″

Durdle, a 19-year-old forward with Family Drug Mart Junior Blues, already had four goals and two assists at the time of the injury.

He was skating close to the boards when he was pulled down during the third period of a Junior B game Saturday night. The player behind him also went down and his skate went up into Durdle’s side.

As team trainers cut off his gear to find the wound, ambulance attendants staffing the game prepared to speed Durdle to the Bell Island hospital.

The crew had Durdle to the hospital within minutes, where doctors stabilized him for an emergency ferry run to St. John’s, generally a 45-minute trip.

Surgeons at the Health Sciences Centre used a vein from Durle’s leg to repair the artery.

``He’ll do all right, he’s a strong kid,″ Brazil said. ``We have a video tape of it and I’m afraid to look at it because it was unbelievable.″

At the time of the accident, Bell Island was leading 10-1 over the Trinity-Placentia Flyers. The game was abandoned and the score will stand.

``Ironically, he was having the game of his life,″ Brazil said.

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