NHL community rallies around paralyzed Michigan high school hockey star

Prep Rally
The hockey community is rallying around Michigan teen Matt Sorisho -- Twitter
The hockey community is rallying around Michigan teen Matt Sorisho -- Twitter

The NHL community is rallying around a Michigan teen who suffered a severe spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Catholic Central High (Novi, Mich.) senior forward Matt Sorisho, 17, broke his back when a defenseman spun him as he skated full speed toward the goal and careened into the boards in a Michigan Development Hockey League all-star game, multiple media outlets reported.

Upon hearing the news, Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock visited Sorisho at Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills, Mich. Babcock's son Michael played on the same line as Sorisho last winter, when as a junior the 17-year-old led the Shamrocks in scoring during their run to the state title game.

“Mike Babcock has been awesome,” Detroit Catholic Central hockey coach Doug Itami told the Detroit Free Press. “They’ve been very supportive, and the hockey community always wraps their arms around you when something like this happens.”

Similarly, Phoenix Coyotes forward David Moss, who graduated from Catholic Central in 2000, met the Sorisho family and even donned Matt's No. 18 Shamrocks jersey during warmups of their game against the Red Wings in Detroit on Thursday.

Likewise, Sorisho's Twitter account is littered with pledges of support from the NHL, including the Colorado Avalanche's Gabriel Landeskog, John Mitchell and Matt Duchene; Columbus Blue Jackets Jack Johnson and Ryan Johansen; San Jose Sharks right winger Brent Burns; and the Sharks' and Edmonton Oilers' team accounts.

Sorisho had hoped to play for Michigan State, and Spartans hockey coach Tom Anastos simply tweeted, "18." Sorisho's prep team placed No. 18 stickers on their helmets.

From the start of 2012, Prep Rally chronicled the incredible story of Jack Jablonski, a paralyzed St. Louis Park (Minn.) Benilde-St. Margaret's School hockey player who regained movement after doctors told him he would never feel sensation below his neck again.

Jablonski and Sorisho traded tweets on Thursday.

The Sorisho family has established a fund in hopes of raising $500,000 to offset the uninsured costs of medical treatment, home modifications and necessary equipment.

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