An 11-year-old boy has died after getting hit in the neck by a puck during a junior hockey league practice near Montreal earlier this week, police confirmed Friday.
The incident occurred at around 7 p.m. Tuesday, when police and ambulance services responded to a 911 call at the Walter-Buswell arena in St-Eustache. The boy was brought to a Montreal hospital intensive care unit.
The St-Eustache police department said earlier in the week that an investigation showed the boy was hit by accident and that he was wearing all the required protective equipment.
Lt. Olivier Boucher said Friday the puck struck the boy in the neck. Police have not said when the boy died.
Marie-Joël Desaulniers, communications director for provincial hockey association Hockey Québec, confirmed in an email that a player’s complete set of protective equipment includes a neck guard.
Reacting to the news of the boy’s death, his league — Association du hockey mineur de St-Eustache — extended its condolences to his family and loved ones.
“We are profoundly saddened by this tragedy shaking all the members of our association,” league president Jean-Philippe Labrèche said in the Friday statement, calling the last few days “extremely emotional.” The association said earlier in the week that it’s offering psychological support resources to volunteers, players and their families.
Quebec’s minister responsible for sports, Isabelle Charest, shared condolences on X: “A sadness without words,” she wrote. “I am devastated to learn of the death of this young hockey player.”
Police said they plan to assist in the Quebec coroner’s investigation into the boy’s death.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 15, 2023.