‘Violent’ control left hockey player with brain damage: costume

All she wanted to do was play hockey, but instead, a Hudson Valley woman claims she suffered brain damage when a goon violently cross-checked her during a game.

Chelsea Noe, 38, is now suing, arguing the stunt should never have happened.

The Upstate Saugerties Hockey League was supposed to have rules against bodychecking, or one player slamming into another, Noe charges in a lawsuit.

But the rule was not enforced on Feb. 10, 2019, Noe claims, as his club, the War Horses, took the ice against the Blue Crew.

It was the third and final period of the game when Noe – known for being the “smallest, lightest and weakest” player in the league – was hit, according to court documents.

Noe claims in the Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit that opponent David Lynch, 50, came upon her with “the weight of his whole body and the momentum of rapid movement”, slamming his stick into her back.

Lynch was known for his excessive brutality, repeated beatings and other violations in the “out of control” league, Noe claims.

He was penalized for the hit, but not ejected.

According to a lawsuit, the league failed to enforce its no-verification rule.
Sharon Hanley/Facebook

The Hyde Park man was a player of “substantial size, weight and strength” who was “excessively aggressive”, while Noe described herself in the lawsuit as the “least capable” of being able to defend herself against forceful play.

Noe appears to have played just one season in the Saugerties Hockey League, appearing in 13 games for the War Horses in 2018-19. She scored three goals and 10 assists, while collecting 10 penalty minutes, according to the league’s website.

The cross-check left Noe with a “severe traumatic brain injury,” she claimed.

She is now unable to work or go about her daily activities after injuries to her “head, brain, cervical spine, torso and extremities”, according to court documents.

The Ulster County woman now suffers from cognitive impairment, chronic migraines, memory loss, nausea and dizziness, among other injuries, she charges.

Noe pursues Lynch; war horse trainer Christopher Rivers; arbitrator William Winters; the Saugerties Hockey League; the New York State Amateur Hockey League and USA Hockey for unspecified damages.

Lynch, Rivers and the Saugerties league did not return messages seeking comment. Winters could not be reached.

Catherine J. Martinez