From high school students to national celebrities, folks are sending their love, prayers and support to Monroe Township High School senior Michael Nichols, who collided head-first with the boards during a school hockey game this weekend and broke his neck.

The 17-year-old was said to be "breathing on his own" and "in good spirits" following a Sunday surgery on his fractured C5 vertebrae.

A message circulating online indicates the senior forward intends to skate again.


Nichols' peers flooded their high school's halls Monday with purple and gold, the school colors. A few students have started the process of creating and selling shirts with the "23" worn by Nichols on the ice, with proceeds going to the young victim and his family. School teams from other New Jersey counties indicated they would share a portion of their ticket sales to benefit the Nichols family.


"I wish the best for him. I hope that he's alright," Brant Scialabba, a fellow Monroe Township High School student, told Townsquare Media. "It's a pretty hard situation when you're going to a hockey game your senior year, and you're just going to play the sport you love, and them boom - an accident just happens."

The hashtag #prayformikey has garnered national attention online with professional hockey players, and stars from other sports, sending a shout-out to the "fighter."

Nichols' hockey coach, Jerry Minter, told multiple news outlets that Mikey was checked in the process of taking a shot. The team's official website asked readers to "refrain from placing any blame, jumping to conclusions and provide the family with some privacy."