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St. Croix Lutheran Hockey Player Hospitalized After Injury

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – About a week after a Benilde-St. Margaret’s hockey player suffered a paralyzing hit, there could be another player in the Twin Cities metro facing a similar fate.

St. Croix Lutheran senior Jenna Privette suffered a serious injury in her team’s girls hockey game Friday night against the St. Paul Blades. Privette reportedly went hard into the boards by the Zamboni doors late in the third period of the game after taking a shot on goal. Privette lost feeling in most of her body immediately after the injury, according to coach Carl Lemke.

Privette’s father, Dan Privette, told WCCO-TV she was checked from behind before hitting the boards. Minnesota State High School League rules prohibit checking of any kind in girls hockey. Dan Privette said he was standing right in front of where the hit happened on the other side of the glass and is upset because no penalty was called on the play.

Privette’s mother, Penny Privette, said she knew something was wrong when she saw her daughter wasn’t moving her feet.

“We have a rule that if our kids are ever injured that they move their feet,” Penny Privette said. “And this time when she went down, there was no movement.”

Privette was taken off the ice by an ambulance to a local hospital and Lemke said she lost feeling over most of her body.  The game, which the St. Paul Blades were leading 4-3 at the time, will have to be finished at a later date.

The teams met at center after she was taken off the ice for a prayer. Privette had just returned to game action after having to sit out earlier games because of a concussion suffered during their softball season last spring.

Lemke told WCCO-TV that Privette re-injured a back injury that had kept her out of competition until December. Lemke said immediately after the injury she had no feeling over most parts of her body. Feeling returned to her left hand at about 3 a.m. Saturday and to her right hand at about 7 a.m. Privette’s father said she has suffered a spinal cord injury.

Lemke said a team of doctors will be meeting Saturday to determine the next course of treatment for Privette’s symptoms. He said a three-hour MRI performed Saturday showed no broken bones or spinal column. It is unclear if Privette will suffer long-term paralysis from the injury.

Jenna Privette is at Hennepin County Medical Center being treated, and she is in satisfactory condition.

Dan Privette said Jenna has been playing hockey since she was 4 years old, has been playing varsity hockey since seventh grade and organized a memorial at St. Croix Lutheran for Jack Jablonski, the Benilde hockey player now paralyzed after a check from behind.

A few years ago, Privette spent days in the hospital after suffering a check from behind and a spinal cord injury.

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