Massachusetts high school hockey player sustains serious injuries during tournament

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A Massachusetts high school hockey player is hospitalized with serious injuries following a collision during a major Labor Day weekend tournament.Jake Thibeault, an 18-year-old from Fitchburg, Massachusetts, broke two vertebrae in his back and suffered a small brain bleed while playing with his club team, the 18-and-under Boston Bulldogs, at the Eastern Alliance Kickoff tournament. Thibeault’s parents told Boston sister station WCVB that the collision happened during an EAK tournament game in Hopedale late Saturday afternoon.Video from the game shows Thibeault skating up the right wing and taking a hit after making a pass, a collision that sent him headfirst into the end boards. He collapsed on the ice and later had to be carried off on a stretcher. Thibeault, who is at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, has been unable to move his legs thus far, according to his parents.”He just started frothing at the mouth. He was non-verbal,” said Mike Thibeault, Jake’s father. “We rushed out on the ice and he was like that for five minutes. It was, without a doubt, the hardest part of my life I’ve had to experience.” “It was awful. It was awful to get a phone call from (Mike) saying: ‘You have to come now,'” said Tracy Thibeault, Jake’s mother. “It’s your worst nightmare.”The roster for the Bulldogs’ 18U team lists Thibeault as a forward who is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 175 pounds.Thibeault is a senior student at Milton Academy and plays for the Mustangs’ hockey team. His head coach at Milton Academy, Paul Cannata, says Thibeault recently caught the attention of a National Hockey League Scout.”He said, ‘That kid is awesome!’ and he goes, ‘Every day!'” Cannata said. “I said: ‘Oh yeah, you saw it. That’s Jake every day.'”Thibeault’s parents say UMass doctors told them that Jake damaged his spinal cord and that they are unsure if he will be unable to walk again. They did note that Jake’s spinal cord is not severed, which means there is a chance he could walk again.”Right now, there’s not a whole lot of movement going on, but we’re hoping that as swelling comes down from the surgery and things like that, that maybe we will get that miracle,” Tracy Thibeault said.”We want Jake to at least walk or go across the stage in Milton to get his diploma,” Mike Thibeault said. “He wants his brother to be there with him and, you know, we’re going to try to get him to that for now.”Cannata told Bienick that Thibeault’s determination is still high, as the coach saw the teenager working out with dumbbells in his hospital bed Monday morning.A tweet from the Boston Bulldogs states that Thibeault told nurses on Sunday that he is “ready to fight.”According to multiple hockey recruiting profiles, Thibeault previously played with the South Shore Kings, a junior hockey club based in Foxborough.In a tweet, the Kings confirmed that Thibeault was a member of their under-18 full-season team last season.”The entire South Shore Kings organization is praying for Jake Thibeault,” the Kings tweeted. “The entire hockey community is with you, Jake, and we are going to help overcome this!!!”In a personal statement on one recruiting site, Thibeault said hockey is a sport that has been a large part of his family. His grandfather and uncle both played, and his grandfather was also an assistant high school hockey coach.”My passion for hockey began when I was the age of three,” the statement reads. “I don’t know what it was, but every time a game came on TV, I became mesmerized by what I was watching.”A GoFundMe page has been set up for Thibeault and his family to help pay for rehabilitation needs, housing construction and various medical costs and expenses.Jim Lattanzi, the owner of Hollis Hills Farm in Fitchburg, says Thibeault has worked at the farm for the past several years.”Jake came to me at age 13 while running cross country for Fitchburg, asking for a job at the farm. A year later he joined our team and ever since has been a farm favorite,” Lattanzi wrote on the farm’s Facebook page. “Jake always has the best attitude and an eagerness to work and learn. A talented hockey player, we had to work around his schedule, but we could always find something for him here. I am asking you to please hold him and his family in your prayers and to please donate what you can.”The Eastern Alliance Kickoff tournament, which started on Friday and runs through Monday, features dozens of top boys and girls junior hockey teams from the region.According to organizers, more than 200 scouts and coaches were expected to attend the tournament.Many of the games were held at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough. Games were also held in Canton, Foxborough, Dedham, Worcester, Wellesley, Westborough, Attleboro, Walpole, Braintree, Bridgewater and Hopedale.The Rhode Island communities of Pawtucket and North Smithfield also hosted some EAK tournament games.

A Massachusetts high school hockey player is hospitalized with serious injuries following a collision during a major Labor Day weekend tournament.

Jake Thibeault, an 18-year-old from Fitchburg, Massachusetts, broke two vertebrae in his back and suffered a small brain bleed while playing with his club team, the 18-and-under Boston Bulldogs, at the Eastern Alliance Kickoff tournament.

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Thibeault’s parents told Boston sister station WCVB that the collision happened during an EAK tournament game in Hopedale late Saturday afternoon.

Video from the game shows Thibeault skating up the right wing and taking a hit after making a pass, a collision that sent him headfirst into the end boards. He collapsed on the ice and later had to be carried off on a stretcher.

Thibeault, who is at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, has been unable to move his legs thus far, according to his parents.

“He just started frothing at the mouth. He was non-verbal,” said Mike Thibeault, Jake’s father. “We rushed out on the ice and he was like that for five minutes. It was, without a doubt, the hardest part of my life I’ve had to experience.”

“It was awful. It was awful to get a phone call from (Mike) saying: ‘You have to come now,'” said Tracy Thibeault, Jake’s mother. “It’s your worst nightmare.”

This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

The roster for the Bulldogs’ 18U team lists Thibeault as a forward who is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 175 pounds.

Thibeault is a senior student at Milton Academy and plays for the Mustangs’ hockey team. His head coach at Milton Academy, Paul Cannata, says Thibeault recently caught the attention of a National Hockey League Scout.

“He said, ‘That kid is awesome!’ and he goes, ‘Every day!'” Cannata said. “I said: ‘Oh yeah, you saw it. That’s Jake every day.'”

Thibeault’s parents say UMass doctors told them that Jake damaged his spinal cord and that they are unsure if he will be unable to walk again. They did note that Jake’s spinal cord is not severed, which means there is a chance he could walk again.

“Right now, there’s not a whole lot of movement going on, but we’re hoping that as swelling comes down from the surgery and things like that, that maybe we will get that miracle,” Tracy Thibeault said.

“We want Jake to at least walk or go across the stage in Milton to get his diploma,” Mike Thibeault said. “He wants his brother to be there with him and, you know, we’re going to try to get him to that for now.”

Jake Thibeault, right, with his older brother, Drew Thibeault

Courtesy of family

Jake Thibeault, right, with his older brother, Drew Thibeault

Cannata told Bienick that Thibeault’s determination is still high, as the coach saw the teenager working out with dumbbells in his hospital bed Monday morning.

A tweet from the Boston Bulldogs states that Thibeault told nurses on Sunday that he is “ready to fight.”

According to multiple hockey recruiting profiles, Thibeault previously played with the South Shore Kings, a junior hockey club based in Foxborough.

In a tweet, the Kings confirmed that Thibeault was a member of their under-18 full-season team last season.

“The entire South Shore Kings organization is praying for Jake Thibeault,” the Kings tweeted. “The entire hockey community is with you, Jake, and we are going to help overcome this!!!”

This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

In a personal statement on one recruiting site, Thibeault said hockey is a sport that has been a large part of his family. His grandfather and uncle both played, and his grandfather was also an assistant high school hockey coach.

“My passion for hockey began when I was the age of three,” the statement reads. “I don’t know what it was, but every time a game came on TV, I became mesmerized by what I was watching.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Thibeault and his family to help pay for rehabilitation needs, housing construction and various medical costs and expenses.

Jim Lattanzi, the owner of Hollis Hills Farm in Fitchburg, says Thibeault has worked at the farm for the past several years.

“Jake came to me at age 13 while running cross country for Fitchburg, asking for a job at the farm. A year later he joined our team and ever since has been a farm favorite,” Lattanzi wrote on the farm’s Facebook page. “Jake always has the best attitude and an eagerness to work and learn. A talented hockey player, we had to work around his schedule, but we could always find something for him here. I am asking you to please hold him and his family in your prayers and to please donate what you can.”

Jake Thibeault, 18, of Fitchburg, Massachusetts

Courtesy of family

Jake Thibeault, 18, of Fitchburg, Massachusetts 

The Eastern Alliance Kickoff tournament, which started on Friday and runs through Monday, features dozens of top boys and girls junior hockey teams from the region.

According to organizers, more than 200 scouts and coaches were expected to attend the tournament.

Many of the games were held at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough. Games were also held in Canton, Foxborough, Dedham, Worcester, Wellesley, Westborough, Attleboro, Walpole, Braintree, Bridgewater and Hopedale.

The Rhode Island communities of Pawtucket and North Smithfield also hosted some EAK tournament games.

Contributed by local news sources

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