Saves don’t come more beautiful than the one Patrick O’Brien performed Sunday in Newfoundland.
The Gander Flyers player uses just two words to describe himself in his Twitter bio: “goaltender” and “paramedic.”
It was O’Brien’s latter role that helped save a fan’s life during the Flyers’ home game against the Corner Brook Royals.
When a middle-aged fan in the stands collapsed due to cardiac arrest, O’Brien ran from the dressing room to the bleachers in his equipment to perform CPR.
With help from Flyers board member Tom Whalen and town mayor Claude Elliott (both former paramedics), O'Brien resuscitated the man, who was whisked to Gander's James Paton Memorial Hospital. The fan is reportedly in stable condition.
Patty on Twitter
"It's less stressful to save the pucks," tweeted the 26-year-old O'Brien, who works as a paramedic with the Central Health Authority. "Had lots of help today from incredible people on scene."
When Gander coach Chris Peach saw the scene unfolding before puck drop, his first instinct was to fetch O'Brien from the dressing room.
The goalie was wearing skates, hockey pants and one leg pad.
“I just hopped in and started chest compressions,” O’Brien told The Gander Beacon. “Anyone would have done what I did. I guess it’s just where it was at the rink and I had some of my gear on. But it’s what I do. It happens with some level of regularity [while on duty].”
The Flyers' other goalie, Roger Kennedy, started the game but was replaced by O’Brien late in the second period.
"I was one of a many who helped today," O'Brien tweeted. "I appreciate your support but feel there are others who deserve the spotlight." Patty on Twitter