Randy Yeakley had his throat cut by a skate but came back to play in the same game for his teammates
BREMERTON — West Sound Admirals forward Randy Yeakley didn’t think too much of the collision he had with a Utah Outliers player Saturday night at the Bremerton Ice Arena.
Yeakley went in to deflect a shot on goal by Utah and the player kicked his leg up when he shot and connected with Yeakley. Yeakley felt something and checked himself only to discover some blood as he made his way toward the penalty box.
Okay. Not a big deal for a hockey player. It’s part of the game.
Yeakley took his seat in the box and when he looked down noticed a good deal of blood dripping down. Yeakley called over the Admirals athletic trainer to check on him. Yeakley looked up and the trainer’s face registered shock and dismay and he quickly grabbed a towel and put it on Yeakley’s neck.
It wasn’t a cut to the chin that Yeakley suffered. He had a laceration to his neck from the skate of Utah’s player. He was losing blood quickly.
“My cut opened up like a mouth,” Yeakley said of the three- to four-inch inch gash that showed itself when he lifted his head to look at the trainer.
“The trainer was like, he saw that and said ‘we’ve got to go to the hospital now,’” Yeakley said. “I was a little pissed off and started walking out.”
Yeakley said he was rushed to Harrison Hospital and was in the emergency room receiving stitches quickly. While the cut was unnerving, it wasn’t life threatening.
His story didn’t end there.
Yeakley, a Vancouver, Washington, native whose mother and sister were at the Bremerton Ice Rink Saturday night, knew he was going to play again that night. And he did.
It wasn’t hubris that led Yeakley to lace up his skates and get back on the ice. It was for his teammates. Yeakley, who now sports a pink scar on his neck, said coming back to play wasn’t even a question.
“I was going to play some more,” Yeakley said. “I was texting (assistant) coach Alec (Johnson) and said I’d be back for the second and third (periods). I needed to help my line mates out. With one of us gone it’s not as intact and good.”
Forward Jared Reiber wasn’t shocked to see Yeakley return to the bench, but it did say a lot about his character.
“That’s something,” Reiber said with a shake of his head. “I understand what he’s trying to do. He loves the game so much.”
Reiber and Yeakley’s linemate, Cory Kane, echoed his teammates sentiments.
“To see the guy, you can’t be too down on yourself when a guy gets his neck cut open and gets stitches and then comes right back. It’s hard to not want to keep going,” Kane, a 2019 Bremerton High grad, said.
Yeakley and Kane have found a bit of magic on the ice for the Admirals. The pair have been able to produce offensively, and with the addition of Reiber to the line, expect more scoring.
Kane leads the team with 14 points in 10 games and leads with nine goals. Yeakley is second with 11 points with seven points and four goals. It helps that Kane and Reiber have been coached by first-year head coach Pat Hudkins in the past, he said.
“We both know the system Pat wants to run,” Kane said.
Hudkins said the line is clicking because they play well off each other, not only in terms of skill level, but their personalities.
“Randy and Cory are very easy-going guys, so their personalities just kind of carry that whole aspect across to Jared,” Hudkins said. “But at the same time they’re very serious about playing.”
Reiber, a 2019 South Kitsap High grad who scored his first WSHL goal over the weekend, said with the speed of linemates Yeakley and Kane his job isn’t that hard.
“I know if I have the puck I can put it ahead and they’ll be there and those two are magicians with the puck,” he said. “I give it to them, I’ll let them do it and I’ll pick up the trash.”
Kane said he and Yeakley asked to have Reiber on their line knowing what he can contribute to the team.
“Jared and I played together a little bit when we were younger,” he said as they both went through the West Sound Warriors youth program.
The Admirals might be 0-10 one month into the Western States Hockey League season, but with more players on the way to fill out a short-handed roster, West Sound is keeping its eyes forward.