North Dakota forward Robbie Bina, who was injured on a check from behind in Friday’s WCHA Final Five semifinal game against Denver, has a broken neck that may end his hockey career, sources indicated Saturday.
Bina’s neck injury is being monitored by neurosurgeons at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, his mother Rose said in a statement.
In the second period of Friday’s first semifinal, Denver’s Geoff Paukovich put Bina into the boards head-first with a check. Bina lay flat on his back for several minutes while being attended to by medical personnel before being taken from the ice on a stretcher.
Paukovich, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound freshman, received only a two-minute minor for boarding on the play, but later was given a one-game suspension by the league. He will serve that in Saturday’s championship game against Colorado College.
Bina, 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds, moved up to forward after playing defense in Thursday’s play-in game victory over Wisconsin. In 32 games this season, the sophomore has no goals and nine assists.
He received a visit from North Dakota players before the Sioux defeated Minnesota 4-2 in the Final Five third-place game Saturday afternoon. North Dakota captain Matt Greene said Bina was in good spirits and made some jokes.
On Friday, North Dakota spokesman Dan Benson said Bina had X-rays taken and the results were favorable, but an MRI exam was scheduled for later in the day. Benson said Bina was talking and had movement, but later added the injury was believed to be serious.