Army hockey could be receiving an emotional boost for its big two-game Atlantic Hockey series with Air Force this weekend.
Coach Brian Riley said junior forward Eric Huss could return to the ice for the rivalry, which starts Friday at Tate Rink in West Point.
“Eric is back,” Riley said on the Black Knight Nation podcast Wednesday. “He skated this week. There’s a good chance that he will be out there on Friday night.”
Incredible news considering what the junior forward experienced three weeks ago. Huss was inadvertently cut by a skate blade as he was skating by a Sacred Heart player that took a hit on Jan. 5. He was bleeding from a “hole” in his neck as he came to Army’s bench.
Army hockey trainer Rachel Leahy kept the wound close to control the bleeding and continued to hold onto the wound as Huss boarded the ambulance. Huss was taken to local hospital near Bridgeport, Conn. for emergency surgery.
Army honored Leahy before its game against Providence on Jan. 8. Huss thanked Leahy for saving his life in a video message.
Riley said the team is “thrilled” that Huss is back and that he will wear neck guard when he takes the ice.
“You don’t really see that (neck guard) in college hockey,” Riley said. “After seeing what I saw that night, I think neck guards should be worn because Eric was eight, nine, 10 minutes away from possibly losing his life. I’m sure a lot of college players might not like the idea but seeing what I saw, I think everybody should wear a neck guard.”
Six points in the Atlantic Hockey standings will be on the line this weekend. Saturday’s game (4 p.m. start) is sold out. Riley recapped his team’s season and preview the Air Force series in the podcast below.