When goalie masks go wrong – a cautionary tale

Rory Boylen

Hey kids, here’s a cautionary tale for all you goalies out there. Scottie Riggs from Old Brookville, N.Y., has a story that will give you nightmares – and teach you to regularly test your cages. Warning: picture near the bottom is not for the squeamish.

Mr. Riggs is a goalie for a police team in the Hockey Long Island Rec League. His words:

“Hey I just wanted to get the word out of something all goalies in recreational hockey need to consider: Recheck their cage after you get beamed in the face with a puck!
You see, I had been hit numerous times without care because it never really hurt other than that shock and sting of the impact, until one night on a 2-on-0 in an adult recreation league.

Wearing a cats-eye cage, I never considered the danger. Then wammo!!! A pass and a one-timer hit me square in the face as I slid across to make a desperate save. It felt like the back of my head exploded. I fell to my knees, ripped off my mask and watched as the ice filled with blood pooling right in front of me. The puck lodged so hard in the cage the police and EMT could not get it out.

Well, 50 stitches, cosmetic surgery and six months before being allowed to play again, it dawned on me: Perhaps my cage had been getting warped from so many impacts it let this perfect shot get inside just enough.

My point is, please people, check your cage before each game for damage, dents, etc. I wish I would have.

-Scottie Riggs. Old Brookville Police Wolverines.


You’ll be happy to know Scott is back playing. Actually, he said he subbed in back-to-back games this morning.

That guy’s a hockey player I tell ya.