RPI’s Higgs suffers Zednik-like injury at UAH

Those who remember former Florida Panthers winger Richard Zednik’s or Buffalo Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk’s infamous injuries – and believe me, if you saw them you’d never forget – shudder to recall them. The 1,133 at Alabama-Huntsville’s Von Braun center Thursday night may have similar nightmares now, after Rensselaer freshman Brock Higgs required emergency surgery to repair a severe slice to his neck.

In a play reminiscent of Zednik’s crisis, teammate Chase Polacek’s skate was the one to do the damage when Polacek was tripped up as Higgs skated by in the second period of RPI’s 2-1 win. As head coach Seth Appert told Schenectady Daily Gazette’s Ken Schott this morning:

“He had a pretty good skate to the net, and a pretty long gash that opened him up. It hit a couple veins that, certainly, where he lost a lot of blood. He almost needed a transfusion. But it did not hit the jugular or carotid artery. That’s a positive.”

“It was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen in hockey, no question about it. You see blood squirting out of your player’s neck through his hand as he was coming to bench, it was scary. [RPI trainer] Chris Thompson did a great job. He was very calm and professional, and got the towel on it immediately. The Huntsville people did a good job. That’s where you feel fortunate to have qualified people with you and around you that can help you take care of those situations.”

Higgs is set to be released from the hospital later today, and should be free to fly back to Troy with the rest of the team tomorrow. In 17 games, Higgs has accumulated three goals and seven assists.


  1. I was at the Miami game where Will Weber had his throat slashed by a skate and I’ll agree, this is the scariest type of injury that I’ve ever seen in hockey. I hope that Higgs is back to peak form as fast as Weber was.

  2. Paula and Drew: The MN vs SCSU series also features a match-up of the head coach and his former top assistant, just in case you didn’t know. This Gopher fan is looking forward to the first visit to the “Herbie.” Also noteworthy, Herb Brooks coached both of these teams in the past.

  3. Drew and Paula Friday night’s game between MSU and FSU will end in a 0-0 tie and after 50 players from each squad attempt penalty shots – with no goals scored – Motte and Hildebrand will meet at center ice, shake hands and be promptly greeted by the ghost of Johnny Cochran. Johnny has already filed lawsuits on both of their behalf for failure to support. All half-kidding aside, one of these games is a 0-0 tie.

  4. Gophers/SCSU match up will be a good one. It is always crazy in St. Cloud and will be all the more so tonight being Halloween. Motzko did very well against the Gophers when he first went to St. Cloud, so we’ll it was like he knew the Gophers better than Lucia did, but the tables have turned recently and I hope that continues tonight. These are always highly contested games. BTW, Motzko and Lucia remain great friends and talk at least once a week. I like the blog picks other than Paula ‘ lack of commentation on the Gophers despite my challenge to her last week. All I am able to conclude from this is that either she doesn’t care enough about her readers to read the comments on her blog or the challenge was much too difficult to undertake for her. Very disappointing in either case.

  5. At Munn: FSU 3-1 Friday and 2-0 Saturday. MSU begins the season 1-5. And if I’m wrong and MSU manages to win one, well………I won’t criticize Anastos for at least 24 hours.

  6. What I learned this weekend:
    1) Paula and Drew have a LOT to learn about Minnesota in-state rivalries (however, I would also extend that to border battles with UND and UW). Ratings mean less than venue and readiness/heart.
    2) SCSU and UMN have excellent hockey teams (well, okay, I already knew this)–I’ll be surprised if one of these teams does NOT make the NCAA tourney.
    3) Failure to contain Justin Kloos at your own peril.

  7. Kenny checked in this morning. He’s pumped for another big weekend of North Dekota hockey. He and Chockes will be rockin’ out at Joe Black’s and want to extend an invitation to all true North Dekota fans.

  8. Picking St. Cloud to get swept in the HBNHC aka Concrete Cathedral aka House of Pain is just absurd. No respect for the defending back to back conference champs.

  9. A split this weekend for Denver versus Colorado College would have harsh ramifications for the Pioneers’ PWR. While Denver has outscored the Tigers 11-1 in two games thus far this season, Jim Montgomery’s team will need to keep a sharp focus on playing sound hockey and staying out of the penalty box to enhance its chances for a weekend and season sweep of CC. Denver has posted only one NCHC weekend sweep this season [versus St. Cloud] in mid-January. Denver needs a sweep as it makes a push to secure home ice for the first round of the conference playoffs and to solidify its PWR.

  10. I just want to see who’s standing up and who’ll be sitting down after these last 3 crazy weeks. I don’t like Miami, specifically for the style they play, the way they are coached, and their continued poor performance in the NCAA post-season… But they are in a good position. Miami can probably split their final 6 games, and not drop in the PWR. A comforting thought, but the schedule is BRUTAL.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here