J.J. O'Connor has returned to the Skokie Skatium many times over the last 16 years, but he knows this year is different.
That was the location where, on Oct. 24, 1995, O'Connor, then a senior at Loyola Academy, was playing a midget-level game for the McFetridge Patriots against the Skokie Flyers. O'Connor hit the boards at an awkward angle, fracturing three vertebrae in his neck and sustaining spinal-cord damage.
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