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‘You just saved this girl’s life’: EMT revives hockey player who stopped breathing on the ice

<i>WCCO</i><br/>A college student is being credited with saving the life of a high school hockey player after she collapsed on the ice. Zoe Sternberg
WCCO
WCCO
A college student is being credited with saving the life of a high school hockey player after she collapsed on the ice. Zoe Sternberg

By Jonathon Sharp

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    BLAINE, Minnesota (WCCO) — A college student is being credited with saving the life of a high school hockey player after she collapsed on the ice.

It happened Sunday afternoon at the Super Rink in Blaine, during a girls hockey game.

“Somebody said she went down and then tried to get up and then she collapsed,” said coach Bill Manuel.

It was the championship game of the Premiere Prep League. And in the middle of it all Manuel saw a player fall awkwardly to the ice, not because of a collision but because she had stopped breathing.

Zoe Sternberg, a student at St. Catherine University, was the EMT on site and rushed out to the girl. She couldn’t a pulse so she began CPR.

“I was thinking OK, she’s going to come around,” Manuel said. “She’s going to come around. But she’s not coming around. She’s not coming around.”

But Sternberg didn’t give up. After what seemed like an eternity, even though it was about 3 minutes, the girl finally opened her eyes.

“All of the sudden she took a deep breath and her eyes… I’ll never forget that look of, Oh my God what happened,” Manuel said. “I remember looking across at Zoe the EMT. I just looked at her and said, you just saved this girl’s life.”

In a statement Monday, Sternberg said, “I am happy that the athlete is OK, and that I had the training to be able to help her. It was only my second day on the job, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time.”

“Have to commend Zoe. Quick-thinking. Spring into action. Doing her training. The big thing is she kept everyone calm,” said Courtney Stevens, assistant arena manager at Super Rink.

Stevens said that the arena was as quiet as she’s ever heard it while Sternberg was performing CPR.

The arena also has three AEDs. And while someone brought one onto the ice, it wasn’t needed.

“It’s huge for peace of mind. Things can happen to players. Things can happen to parents, spectators. Even to people here,” Stevens said.

The player who collapses is a senior in high school. She was taken to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids and kept overnight. Doctors were performing tests on her heart, but she is expected to be OK.

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