Athletics & Recreation / Magazine Feature

Coaches comment on injured hockey star

Struggling with the aftermath of a severe neck injury to one of his players, DU hockey coach George Gwozdecky expressed deep concern Tuesday for senior Jesse Martin tempered with determination for his team move on.

“One of our brothers and comrades is missing, but we’ve got to complete our mission,” he said. “Jesse’s an inspiration for us and we hope we’re an inspiration for Jesse.”

Gwozdecky acknowledged that refocusing the Pioneers on hockey has been tough but necessary. He added that he would be flying to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis on Wednesday to be with Martin and his family.

Gwozdecky said Martin has been in stable condition since sustaining three fractures to his neck when he was forechecked by North Dakota forward Brad Malone in a game Saturday.

“It was not a legal hit because of contact with the head,” Gwozdecky said. “A penalty was called and it was the right call.”

Doctors are looking at the latest MRI results to determine the next step, Gwozdecky said at the mid-day press conference. He was joined in well-wishing by men’s head basketball coach Joe Scott and women’s head coach Erik Johnson.

“We’re one school and one program here,” Scott said. “He and his family are in our thoughts.”

DU returns to the ice Friday and Saturday for home and away games against Colorado College. For more information, visit



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