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Kelowna Chiefs player needs surgery after he was hit in the throat by an opponent’s stick

Chiefs player hospitalized

A player with the Kelowna Chiefs is recovering after surgery to repair an injury suffered in a game Friday night in Grand Forks.

Defenceman Zach Pietsch was struck in the throat by an opponent’s stick. In a statement, the Chiefs said he suffered damage to his windpipe and would be undergoing surgery.

The Junior B team, which plays in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, says Pietsch was taken to Boundary Hospital in Grand Forks. He was then transported by ambulance to Kelowna General Hospital.

“Zach's surgery was successful, although the damage was worse than the doctors initially believed,” said a post to Twitter on Saturday night.

He was expected to spend the night in the intensive care unit.

“On behalf of Zach and the Peitsch family, we thank everyone for their comments wishing him well,” said the team.

Pietsch, who is from Kelowna, has six assists in 32 games with the Chiefs this season.

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