Ex-NHL player Dave Babych rescues disoriented teen on B.C. mountain
Nick Wells, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, September 20, 2016 9:29PM EDT
A North Vancouver man known for his career as an NHL defenceman is being thanked by a teen for rescuing her after a hike on a B.C. mountain went wrong.
Christa Minielly, 13, was hiking the Baden-Powell Trail in North Vancouver with her friend Brina Lyon last week when she fell trying to take a shortcut.
The pair attempted to take a quick detour past a ravine when Minielly lost her footing and slipped down the embankment.
"I guess I hit my head and tumbled down about 15 feet," she told CTV Vancouver.
She had fallen far enough that Lyon couldn't reach her, and her head injury had impacted her vision.
Both girls were panicking, with Lyon trying to find someone to help them.
"I was like screaming for help as loud as I could," Lyon said. "I didn't know what else to do."
That's when a tall man, with a bushy moustache, strode out of the gloom to give the pair a helping hand.
Dave Babych -- a defenceman who played 1,195 NHL games for the Jets, the Hartford Whalers, the Canucks, the Philadelphia Flyers and the LA Kings -- was Minielly's unlikely rescuer.
Babych made his way down to the stranded hiker, put her on his back and spent 35 minutes carrying her down the trail to safety.
"I don't know what we would've done without him," Lyon said, adding that the pair wasn't well-dressed for the hike.
Minielly says she remembers waking up, but struggles to remember much of the interaction.
"I remember waking up on his back a couple of times and making some comments," she said. "I really don't know what I said."
The pair said they had no idea as to the identity of Minielly's rescuer, till her father called the man to thank him.
He reached Babych's voicemail and put two and two together, realizing the North Vancouver man who helped his daughter was the former hockey star.
Babych, who has five kids of his own, says he hopes someone would do the same to help his children and brushed aside any assertions that he was a hero.
"I did what I thought was right, and that's all I needed to do to make sure Christa was okay," Babych said.
Minielly says her parents have told her she can only go hiking with them and the incident has opened her eyes as to how she needs to properly prepare.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's St. John Alexander