Former Totino-Grace hockey player paralyzed in junior hockey game

An Isanti, Minn. family is asking for prayers after their 20-year-old son, a former Totino-Grace High School hockey player, suffered a serious spinal injury during a junior hockey game on Sunday that left him paralyzed below the shoulders.

Matt Olson graduated from Totino-Grace in 2014 and is a defenseman with the Chicago Cougars of the U.S. Premier Hockey League. He was injured when he caught an edge while racing for a puck behind the net and crashed into the boards face-first, according to his CaringBridge website.

Olson suffered permanent damage as a result of the injury and currently has no movement in any of his extremities below the shoulders. He underwent surgery on Monday to stabilize his spine. His family says he is doing well.

"Olson has had a profound impact on the Cougars organization being a fearless and vocal leader, a compassionate mentor to younger players, an advocate for community involvement and service, and a passionate work ethic," the Cougars said in a statement. 

More than $14,000 has already been raised through a GoFundMe account to offset Olson’s medical costs.