In a span of four days, two separate recreation hockey goaltenders in Newfoundland saved the life of a fan and fellow player.
The first incident to make headlines came on Sunday night in Gander, Nfld., where Patrick O’Brien, a goaltender for the Newfoundland senior league’s Gander Flyers, was suiting up for a game against the Corner Brook Royals.
A fan watching the game that was taking place before O’Brien’s Flyers were set to take the ice collapsed. Those around the man rushed to check on him and, when he was found to be unresponsive, bolted to the Flyers room where O’Brien, a paramedic, was in half of his gear.
O’Brien made his way to the collapsed fan and began performing CPR along with the help of another paramedic that was at the arena. Before the ambulance had arrived, the man had been resuscitated.
Little did anyone know it was the second such incident in a week. Last Thursday evening, Nov. 20, may have been an even more fortunate turn of events as Chris Dunphy, a goaltender and fireman, wasn’t initially supposed to be at the Mile One Centre in St. John’s.
Dunphy told CBC News that he had been at home making dinner when a call came from a friend asking if he wanted to come out for a game. He went to the game, suited up as goaltender, and was in the far net when a player at the opposite side of the ice collapsed.
At the outset, Dunphy says, he thought the player was just kidding or playing around. As it turned out, he wasn’t. The opposing goaltender went to check on the player, and it’s at that time that Dunphy made his way down to the other end of the rink and called for the rink defibrillator.
After rolling the collapsed player over, Dunphy checked for circulation and began to perform CPR. When the defibrillator arrived, they used it on their fellow player and with one shot he was back alive.
When Dunphy returned to work at the St. John’s Regional Fire Department he says coworkers gave him some lighthearted jabs, telling him that they were glad he could make at least one save.
Hard to believe either goaltender have made any saves more important than these.