Noel Acciari tells the tale of the time he showed up to a game a bloody mess.

Noel Acciari tells the tale of the time he showed up to a game a bloody mess.

The Toronto Maple Leafs forward recounts the tale of how he showed up for a game with a head injury.

Jonathan Larivee

Hockey players are known for their legendary toughness but sometimes they can be too tough for their own good, and that very much appears to be the case when it comes to Toronto Maple Leafs forward Noel Acciari.

Recently Acciari was interviewed by National Hockey League insider Elliotte Friedman and it was during that interview that Friedman asked Acciari about an infamous story from his past. As the story goes, Acciari once showed up to a game carrying his equipment on his back and bleeding from his head after a car accident, but insisted on playing in the game anyways and would in fact do so.

Not only did Acciari confirm that the story is in fact a true tale, but provided perhaps the most shocking detail of all by revealing that he was only 10 years old when the whole thing happened.

"It was a Saturday and we were driving to Bridgeport in Massachusetts for a game," revealed Acciari on the 32 Thoughts Podcast. "We get rear ended pretty good, kind of caved in the back of the whole van and me and my brother are sitting in the back."

As if that wasn't crazy enough, according to Acciari the reason the accident happened in the first place was due to the fact that an inmate had escaped a local jail. This resulted in increased police presence on the streets, and the driver who collided with their van had apparently been distracted by the sheriff's on the road.

"Apparently an inmate had gotten out so there was searches and everyone was looking over... and one car was just focused on the sheriff's and everyone looking for whoever."

Acciari would end up wounded as a result of the accident, splitting his head open on a TV inside of the family van, but that wasn't going to stop him from getting to the game.

"We had the TV down the middle seat and I hit my head on the TV and cut my head a little bit, was bleeding," said Acciari. "So we wait for the police and EMTs show up and I'm like 'I gotta get to the game.'"

10 year old Acciari was determined to play despite his injury and even though the back of his family's van had been caved in and could no longer be opened, he grabbed his equipment from the damaged van and took off to the arena with his gear on his back.

"You can't open up the back of the van because the back door is caved in, so I just reached in and grabbed my bag from the backseat and pull it out and I told my parents 'Hey the rink is right there, I'm going.'"

Unable to leave the scene of the accident, Acciari's parents allowed him to walk to the arena where he would end up playing in the game and even scored a couple of goals to really complete the story.