Philadelphia, PA – The bad luck streak continued for snake bitten Flyers forward RJ Umberger last night, even after he scored his first goal of the season and his first goal in more than a year.
Umberger, perhaps distracted by his celebration, did not heed warnings from his teammates and skated perilously close to a notorious section of weak ice at the Wells Fargo Center.
Even when he froze after hearing a thunderous cracking noise echo through the arena, Umberger was swallowed into the freezing water as the ice gave way.
“We were all yelling at him to watch out, to not skate over in that direction…but he just didn’t listen and the ice gave way,” Flyer Coach Dave Hakstol said. “It was a real shame.”
Play was stopped for nearly two hours as emergency crews attempted to reach the struggling Umberger, who meekly clung to the shattered ice surface.
During the rescue attempt, the organist at Wells Fargo Center entertained fans by playing “She’s so Cold” by the Rolling Stones, followed by Bruce Springsteen’s “10th Avenue Freeze-out.”
“Dave (May) did a great job out there tonight. He kept the fans into it. Great job by him,” Hakstol said.
Umberger was finally rescued after being in the water for close to two-and-a-half hours and suffered from severe hypothermia. When his skates were removed, onlookers noted that his feet were swollen to two times their size and pitch black.
When play resumed, Umberger missed a shift and came back into the game.