U study shows goalies hurt most by player contact

Brian Deutsch

A University study led by the Minnesota men’ s hockey team physician has found that player contact is the leading injury for college goalies.

Two examples come to mind. In Dec. 2006, MSU goalie Dan Tormey took a skate to his arm while trying to cover the puck. A Gophers skater caught an open area of Tormey’s arm and the current senior had to leave the ice. This season, the Mavs goaltending corps took another hit this year when Mike Zacharias lost his helmet during play and took a stick to the forehead – his injury coincidentally also came against Minnesota.
Looking at the study, Tormey was an anomaly, but Zacharias fits in perfectly with a study that said head and knee injuries are the most common injuries among NCAA goalies. The problem, Dr. Robert LaPrade said in a statement, is with equipment and regulations.
 “Equipment, unique to the goaltender, prevents direct body impact from shots to the goal; overall, the goalie is the most heavily padded player on the ice,” LaPrade, the Gophers team physician and lead author of the study, said. “Despite this, goaltenders are at risk of contact with other players, especially those skating out of control.”
LaPrade hopes the study will lead to rule changes and improvements in equipments that will make the game safer as was the case when new rules were implemented to regulate checking from behind.