Paul Guiney remembers warming up prior to Catholic Memorial’s showdown against host Framingham in the championship game of the CCM Holiday Classic at Loring Arena in late December 2016.
The rest of the night is a blur.
“I woke up in the hospital and my dad told me I was in an accident,” recalled Guiney. “That’s really all I remember from that day.”
In the opening period of the Knights’ 4-0 win, Guiney, then a freshman, was hit from behind and slammed into the boards in front of the Framingham bench. During a 14-minute stoppage, he was placed on a spinal board and taken off on a stretcher, receiving assistance from medical and emergency staff and the Framingham fire and police department.
“It was one of the scariest things I’ve seen,” CM coach Larry Rooney said. “It was very emotional and you’re always thinking the worst. It was a scary thing to witness.”
Guiney was rushed to Boston Children’s Hospital, where he would stay for a week. Doctors diagnosed him with a severe concussion. Upon his release, Guiney was unsure if he’d ever be able to play hockey again.
“I always thought I would be able to get back but there were a lot of doubts,” Guiney said. “It was such a hard injury and tough to go through. A lot of times it was hard.”
Support from family, friends, and teammates helped the Natick teen during the long and grueling rehab process. He went to Edge Performance Systems in Foxborough and worked with trainer Matt Healy at Dynamic Athletic Performance in Ashland.
After returning to school a month after the injury, he began to acclimate to classes and homework. But in order to play hockey again, Guiney knew he needed to work hard in the weight room to regain his physical strength. With help from Healy, he worked his way back.
But Guiney’s comeback was cut short when he injured his shoulder three games into his sophomore season and missed four months. Guiney went through more physical therapy and recovered in time to make the varsity baseball team last spring.
In his junior season, Guiney has been injury free. The 6-foot-1-inch defensemen has carved out a role as an important depth piece and locker room presence for the Knights (12-7).
“Paul coming back showed how strong he is and how much determination he has,” said CM senior Chris Rooney , the coach’s son. “He showed what a CM Knight is. Since he can come back from that, we can come back from anything. It’s motivation.”
■ Marshfield’s 6-0 blanking of Weymouth in the Ed Burns Classic consolation game on Monday helped coach Dan Connolly reach a special milestone. Now in his 20th year behind the bench in Marshfield, Connolly picked up career win No. 300 in the neutral-site game at The Bog in Kingston.
■ Arlington won the Ed Burns Classic championship against Andover, 9-3, at Ed Burns Arena in Arlington on Monday. Burns, who passed away in 2014 at 93, coached both football and hockey at Arlington High, winning 695 games with the hockey team alone. The six-goal margin of victory was the largest of the season for the fourth-ranked Spy Ponders (14-3-3), while the nine goals scored were also a season high.Matt Doherty can be reached at email@example.com. Jake Levin also contributed to this story. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.