It’s a rare occurrence when a major health scare happens during a sporting event.
On Saturday night, that’s exactly what happened during an NHL game between the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils.
Making his 28th appearance of the season and his first start since March 25, 29-year-old Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth suffered a medial emergency on the ice mid-game.
Awaiting a faceoff in the middle of the first period, Neuvirth fell backward and collapsed, landing on his back.
As a response, Flyers trainers and his teammates rushed onto the ice immediately, all concerned with his well-being.
Take a look at what happened in the video below:
As you can see, he inexplicably fell directly backwards, seemingly losing consciousness upon hitting the ground. Play stopped as everyone looked on with extreme concern.
The commentary in the video noted that he was moving his extremities shortly after he collapsed, which is always a positive sign.
Here’s a look at the Flyers bench right after they noticed what happened.
The look of sheer panic was on their faces as they rushed out onto the ice. All of them reacted instantly, as they feared for their teammate's well-being.
Here is a close-up on the goalie right after he fell.
That's a terrifying visual.
Shortly after the collapse, he seemed to re-gain consciousness, and looked frazzled, which is understandable.
On the way off the ice, the goaltender continued to be awake and according to the fan below, he gave a wave to the crowd, signaling that he was alright.
Neuvirth is in his second season with the Flyers and signed a two-year extension with the club earlier this year. He made six saves before the scary incident occurred.
Via Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post, Neuvirth’s teammates knew he wasn’t himself before the game. "He wasn’t feeling that well in the locker room and we were worried about him," winger Colin McDonald said during the first intermission.
The Flyers tweeted out the following update while he was on the way to the hospital.
Therefore, more info on exactly what happened will be released on Sunday at some point.
Neuvirth is 11-11-1 with a 2.82 GAA and a .891 save percentage this season for the Flyers. For his career, he is 95-82-22 with a 2.68 GAA and .911 save percentage.
It remains to be seen what caused him to collapse on Saturday, but hopefully it's nothing serious and he will be back on the ice soon.
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