Hockey players are generally considered to be pretty tough people. No athlete competes harder, longer, or needs more athletic ability than a hockey player.
Hockey players are also known to be the most selfless, and giving group of athletes in all of sport. You can always find a story about some player somewhere that is either giving his time or money to a worthy cause. Some will even risk physical harm to themselves to help another in their time of need.
Kevin Shier, a 20-year-old forward from the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Toronto Lakeshore Patriots, was on his way for a college recruiting visit with his father a week ago when a strange and dangerous event unfolded before them.
Outside of DeWitt, New York, a suburb of Syracuse, Shier and his father came across the truck of U.S. Army National Guard Captain Timothy Neild. Neild’s truck had just struck a concrete pillar of a bridge over the highway. Other motorists were already trying to free Neild who had lost consciousness and was pinned behind the wheel, when the Shiers also jumped in.
The group of good samaritans, pried open the stuck truck door while flames engulfed the unconscious Neild, and the pulled the soldier out of harm’s way.
The rescue came with only seconds to spare as shortly after removing Neild from his truck, it exploded.
So often, players hear the word sacrifice. It is used in both on and of ice teaching from their coaches. It is a great word that takes on many meanings in todays world.
Kevin Shier, and the other people involved in saving Timothy Neild’s life last week truley understand the definition of sacrifice.
Far too often we talk about “hero’s” in hockey. We all have them as we grow up watching the game. Far too often we forget the real life hero’s. Kevin Shier may just end up being a “hero” in both.
Joseph Kolodziej – Publisher