Safety on the ice

By Connor Richardson

Two winters ago, Meg Murray ‘18 headed back to her dorm late at night with an icy path ahead of her.

“I was stepping from the sidewalk down to the ground, except I didn’t step, I slipped,” Murray said, “I just remember waking up in the middle of the road.”

Accidents like Murray’s are not uncommon. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, in the nearby Canadian Province of Quebec, there were a reported 3,780 ice related hospitalizations between 2013 and 2014.

With plans for a new outdoor ice skating rink for St. Michael’s next semester, safety is a top priority.

For safety, Damian DiGiulian, St. Michael’s hockey coach, suggests skaters bring along a helmet and a thick pair of gloves before getting on the ice.

“What you should make sure you do is get your hands down first and brace yourself with your elbows bent.” DiGiulian said, “You need to do all you can to protect your face and head.”

Bob L’Ecuyer, manager of the C. Douglas Cairns Arena, home of the St. Michael’s hockey team, has seen his fair share of injuries on the ice.

“The worst case scenario is when people get concussions.” L’Ecuyer said. He says skaters hitting their heads without a helmet and cutting themselves on the blade of their skate are some of the most common injuries he sees at the Cairns Arena.

“Since that time, I get very nervous around ice.” Murray said. She says after that night she makes sure to wear boots with better traction and walk on lit pathways at night. Despite that experience, Murray says she still would consider skating on the new rink