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This Day In Sports History (March 16th) – Brittanie Cecil
It was on this day in 2002 that 13-year-old Brittanie Cecil was struck in the head by a puck while attending a Columbus Blue Jackets game at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Brittanie died two days later of a torn vertebral artery, which resulted in severe clotting and swelling of the brain.
It was the second period of a game between the Calgary Flames and Columbus Blue Jackets when Columbus forward Espen Knutsen fired a slap shot that was deflected by Flames defenseman Derek Morris. The puck was sent flying over the glass and would hit young Brittanie in the left temple.
This was the first fan fatality at an NHL game in the 85 year history of the league. The incident would result in the league implementing mandatory netting behind each goal at every arena prior to the start of the 2002-03 season.
Here is a tribute to Brittanie Cecil.
Rodney Peete, NFL – Born March 16th 1966 (age 46) in Mesa, Arizona
Todd Heap, NFL – Born March 16th 1980 (age 32) in Mesa, Arizona
Curtis Granderson, MLB – Born March 16th 1981 (age 31) in Blue Island, Illinois