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Dave Babych rescues injured teen from Vancouver trail

Former NHL defenseman carried girl 35 minutes to safety

by Cristina Ledra @cledra / NHL.com Staff Writer

Former NHL defenseman Dave Babych is being hailed as a hero after rescuing an injured teenager from a hiking trail in Vancouver.

Christa Minielly, 13, fell down an embankment last week after she slipped trying to take a shortcut while hiking with her friend Brina Lyon on the Baden-Powell Trail.

Minielly fell about 15 feet and injured her head, which affected her vision, and Lyon was unable to reach her.

"I was like screaming for help as loud as I could," Lyon told CTV News. "I didn't know what else to do."

Luckily, Babych was nearby and carried Minielly for 35 minutes on his shoulder until they were safely off the trail.

"She was pretty messed up, I know," Babych said. "Two big goose eggs on her forehead, for a little girl like that."

The girls didn't know that their rescuer was a former NHL player who skated for their hometown Vancouver Canucks, as well as the Winnipeg Jets, Hartford Whalers, Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings during a 19-season career that spanned from 1980-99. 

Minielly's dad figured it out when he called Babych's cell phone to thank him.

"What are the odds, you know, that of all the people, it's somebody who's, like, a famous Canuck player?" Minielly said.

Babych, a father of five, gave a humble response, saying he was in the right place at the right time and did what he thought was right.

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