A Junior C hockey player says he is lucky to be alive after his neck was sliced open by a hockey skate last week in an incident his parents believe was done intentionally to him.

"I was on the ice. He stepped on my head," Richie Compo told CTVNews of the September 27th incident at Castle Downs Recreation Centre in north Edmonton. "I checked my neck, my hand, there was blood. So I ripped off my helmet."

Compo plays for the Junior Braves in the Noralta Junior C Hockey League and remembers begging the opposing team's athletic trainer for help.

"I looked him dead in the eyes [and said] 'Don't let me die. Please don't let me die. I don't want to die," Compo told CTV News Edmonton. "There was no, no pain, it was just 'I'm dead.' That’s all I could think was 'I'm dead.'"

The 20-year-old was rushed from the rink in an ambulance, and he received more than a dozen stitches and had to spend the night in the hospital.

Compo's league requires a cage for facial protection and a guard for neck protection, but the skate nearly struck his jugular anyway.


The player accused of kicking him, Nate Plaunt of South West Zone Oil Kings, received a match penalty for the kick in the last 57 seconds of the game.

In his written incident report to Hockey Alberta, referee Spencer Acheson stated that he gave Plaunt a match penalty for "deliberately kicking" an opponent in his "neck/face area."

"I considered the act to be a kicking motion and one that was violent considering the vulnerable position of the Braves player," the report states.

Plaunt got an automatic three-game suspension and will have a discipline hearing on Thursday where league officials can decide how long the suspension will last.

Police are also investigating the incident after an assault complaint was filed with the Edmonton Police Service.

"That boy looked around, lifted his leg, like a stomping motion, and right on my son’s head," said Peggy McMillan, Richie's mom.

She believes what happened was assault with a weapon and that it should be dealt with not just by league officials but also in a courtroom.

"If this were to happen off the ice, not be a hockey player, you’d be charged. Mistake, impulsive thing, it doesn’t matter. That impulsive decision coulda took my son's life," she said  "There’s consequences for actions, they’re not little boys, they’re in their, you know, 18 to 21. They know right from wrong."

Compo says he feels it was an intentional kick, but maybe not necessarily aimed for his neck.

"I don't think he meant to kill me. He didn't mean to step on my head, but maybe my arm or chest or something," he said. "That's too much. That's so unnecessary, so unneeded."

Read more at CTV News

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