Police investigate death of ice hockey star Adam Johnson after his throat was slashed by an opponent's blade

Police are investigating the death an ice hockey star who was reportedly killed when a skate slashed his throat in a freak accident 


Adam Johnson, 29, is believed to have been struck in the neck by an ice hockey blade in a freak accident at the match between Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers at Utilita Arena Sheffield last night. 


He was struck in the neck by Sheffield Steelers’ Matt Petgrave, who appeared to lose his footing after tripping in a prior collision.

South Yorkshire Police were contacted at 8.25pm, and confirmed he was later pronounced deceased at hospital.


Officers from the force remain at the scene and an investigation into the incident is ongoing. 

A spokesperson said: 'We were called at 8.25pm yesterday (28 October) to reports that a player had been seriously injured during a Sheffield Steelers versus Nottingham Panthers game at the Utilita Arena in Sheffield.


'Officers attended the scene alongside other emergency services and one man, aged in his 20s, was taken to hospital with serious injuries. Sadly, he was later pronounced deceased at hospital.


'Our officers remain at the scene carrying out enquiries today (29 October) and our investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident remain ongoing.'


Matt Petgrave, 31, was the joint lead scorer for the northern side and the skating community has rallied around the Canadian in sympathy. 


One - Gavin Evans - said: 'Spare a thought for Matt Petgrave as well today guys. He must be feeling absolutely terrible. 


'Complete and utter accident but he will need support through this more than most.' 


A fan account for Scottish ice hockey outfit the Glasgow Clan added: 'Matt this is not your fault. A freak accident which could have happened to anyone. 


'Please someone if you know Matt keep holding him nice and tight. The whole league is behind you.'


And match night announcer for the Sheffield Steelers David Simms added: 'Just a horrible night at the arena, tragic.


'Our thoughts go to Adam's family, friends, and team mates, nothing can prepare you for something like this. 


The American athlete injury was so horrific it forced the game to be abandoned and left traumatised fans in tears.


The club have previously rallied behind Mr Petgrave after he was booted out of two of four games last season for allegedly jabbing another player with his stick and abusing officials, The Star reported.


Coach Aaron Fox defended him and rubbished 'very, very soft calls', but admitted sometimes he needs to 'tone it down'