Finnish hockey star Jenni Hiirikoski hospitalized after having throat slashed by skate

The 35-year-old is in stable condition and recovering at home.

·2 min read
Finnish women's hockey star Jenni Hiirikoski suffered a scary injury during a playoff game in Sweden on Sunday. (Reuters)
Finnish women's hockey star Jenni Hiirikoski suffered a scary injury during a playoff game in Sweden on Sunday. (Reuters)

Three-time Olympian and Finnish women's hockey star Jenni Hiirikoski has been hospitalized after having a skate cut her throat in a frightening incident in the Swedish Women’s Hockey League on Sunday.

The Luela captain had her neck cut by a skate late in the third period of game two of the SDHL final against Brynas. The 35-year-old was rushed to hospital, though it reportedly took 15 minutes to get there, since the Swedish women's league does not require an ambulance on site, unlike in the men's SHL.

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The game would ultimately be delayed 30 minutes, with players leaving the ice as patrons awaited news on Hiirikoski. Luela head coach Jens Själin told reporters post-game that communication was prompt as players returned to their dressing rooms during the delay, learning that the situation was stable.

“It was overwhelming,” Själin said in Swedish. “But it was great that we got the news we got.”

"The only thing I know is that she was under control and then (the team) wanted to play for her," he added.

Later in the evening, Hiirikoski shared via Instagram that she was in good spirits, posting a picture of herself bandaged up from her hospital bed.

“Today I experienced a very scary situation out on the ice. But after surgery at the hospital I am fine and I have been able to go home already,” she said. “I would like to thank everyone who was involved in helping me, both on the ice and in the hospital. I am extremely grateful for everything you did for me.”

Following the extended delay, play would resume, with Luela adding an empty-netter to seal the 5-3 victory. The win gives Luela a 2-0 series lead and puts them one game away from winning the SDHL championship, a win that would mark the team’s fifth straight.

In 31 regular season games, Hiirikoski led all defenders with 37 points. The Finnish national team captain is amongst the women’s game’s most dynamic talents, including two Olympic Best Defender awards in 2014 and 2018, three Olympic bronze medals, and seven World Championship Best Defender awards, the most all-time.

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