Arizona Rubber

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AHU coaches, managers, game-day staff learn how to ‘Stop the Bleed’ at recent training session


After the unfortunate passing of Adam Johnson due to an incident during a pro hockey game in the United Kingdom in late October, the use of neck guards among hockey players at all levels has become a discussion, with many players choosing to utilize the extra protection.

On Dec. 3 at AZ Ice Gilbert, several Arizona Hockey Union coaches, team managers, and penalty box attendants participated in “Stop the Bleed” training, sponsored by the American College of Surgeons.

Stacy Shupe, president of Arizona Hockey Clubs, said taking part in this training was an easy decision.

“We are very proud to offer this training to our staff,” said Shupe. “It is important and timely due to recent events and we are ultimately here to make the kids as safe as possible. The more educated first responders we have for players, the better the outcome could be.”

Knights 18U AA head coach Josh Dahl spoke to the importance of being prepared, on and off the ice.

“As coaches, we navigate the intense realm of hockey where the recent loss of a player in England serves as a somber reminder of the profound impact of skate-cut injuries,” Dahl said. “This tragic incident underscores the necessity for coaches to undergo comprehensive training in responding to emergencies, creating a frontline defense against unforeseen dangers on the ice. Reflecting on a personal experience with one of my top-level forwards, whose seemingly mild chest cut revealed hidden dangers, further emphasizes the multifaceted nature of injuries in this sport.

“Through diligent training, coaches not only become adept at immediate life-saving measures, but also contribute to fostering a culture of safety, ensuring the well-being of our players beyond the scoreline.”

Two AHU parents, Steve Scott and Conrad Straube, said having coaches and those on or near the ice trained for these events gives them peace of mind.

“I would say the biggest takeaway from the training is the importance of pressure and remaining calm,” Scott said. “Keeping a level head in a traumatic event and keeping the victim calm along with applying pressure quickly can buy time and save lives.”

“As the father of a young hockey player, watching our AHU coaches and managers participate in this impactful training was very comforting,” added Straube. “These staff members would be the first to reach a player, or even a referee, in need of medical attention and knowing that med-kits outfitted with pressure dressings and tourniquets will be provided to our coaches provides a great level of reassurance. This was a very proactive approach by AHU, one that I hope other organizations will consider adopting.”


— Matt Mackinder

(December 5, 2023)

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