Marshfield (Mass.) High won the Division 1 state hockey title with a 3-2 victory on Sunday, but one of the team's most significant contributors wasn't there to celebrate the new crown on the ice after the game. The reasons for his absence were equally concerning.
According to the Boston Globe, Marshfield junior forward Chris Perry had his right leg gashed open by a Wakefield (Mass.) High player with 11:22 left in the second period. The cut left a 12-inch wound on Perry's leg, with blood gushing onto the ice until the player could be stabilized and transported to Mass General Hospital.
The junior star's injury trouble didn't end with simple stitches, either, with the cut eventually termed a "deep muscle cut" which required additional surgery Sunday evening. The junior is now recovering from the injury at home, though he is expected to be on crutches for at least three weeks until he can begin physical therapy.
"There were no broken bones and no severing or injury to any arteries," Marshfield athletic director Lou Silva told the Globe. "It was certainly very frightening. He's very lucky that it didn't come close to hitting an artery."
While the five minutes during which Perry was bleeding on the ice were certainly the game's most tense, his teammates shook off the shock from Perry's injury to go on and win for their injured teammate.
There was little question who they were playing for, given the fiery pregame speech Perry delivered in the locker room. The team's coach, Dan Connolly, said the rest of the team elevated its game with no choice but to fill in for a fallen leader.
"Once Chris got hurt, honestly up until that point, he was our best player," Connolly told the Globe. "He was playing unbelievable, making plays in every zone. He's the catalyst for our team. Our kids saw that and were like, 'Oh, what's going to happen now.' He's one of our top penalty killers, too, so that changed a few other things."
While Perry might not have been there to start the celebrations himself, there's little question that his spirit was alive and well in his teammates.
"We just don't quit," Marshfield senior captain Jon Fraser told the Globe. "It's a testament to our team. That's why we're champs."