Ice hockey goalie is lucky to be alive after stick hit
Russian ice hockey team Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg were fined $34,000 this week for "failing to provide adequate security" after one of their fans leapt on to the rink and whacked a visiting player over the head with his own stick.
Towards the end of the first period in Sunday's Continental Hockey League (KHL) play-off game against Salavat Yulayev Ufa, a home fan jumped over protective glass boards and attacked reserve Ufa goaltender Vitaly Kolesnik.
"I guess I was lucky," said Kolesnik, who suffered a deep cut but escaped a serious injury.
"Doctors who treated me said if the hit was just a centimetre or two to the side, I could have been dead or left paralysed," added the 30-year-old Kazakh, who played for Colorado Avalanche in the NHL in 2005-06.
Ufa coach Igor Zakharkin said: "It looked like that mad guy kept hitting our player with a baseball bat. The blood was all over the place. We're still in shock. No wonder we lost (4-3)."
The teams were back on the ice 24 hours later, with several hundred police and security personnel inside the arena.
Monday's game went without incident, Ufa crushing the home team 8-1 to clinch the series 3-1 and advance to the conference semi-finals.