London Knights trainer Doug Stacey says a serious injury during Thursday night’s game between the Niagara Ice Dogs goalie Tucker Tynan is the reason trainers talk over “an emergency action plan” before the first puck drops.
Stacey told Global News that trainers typically meet up before the first period of every game to discuss potential worst-case injury scenarios as a precaution.
“And my big line at the end is, OK, now that we’ve talked about it, nothing’s going to happen. And for the most part, it doesn’t.”
However, Stacey and Ice Dogs trainer Chris Trivieri were called into action early in the second period of Thursday’s Knights-IceDogs game in St. Catharines, Ont., when IceDogs netminder Tynan was hit as teammate Ivan Lodnia and Knights’ Hunter Skinner crashed into the net.
The two players fell and went feet-first into Tynan, who was pushed back into the goal. Both Skinner and Lodnia got up quickly and rejoined the play while Tynan remained down.
“The referees were looking towards their (IceDogs) bench and motioning for them to come,” said Stacey. “But then they (Trivieri and officials) looked at my bench and said, ‘you need to come,’ and I realized that it was something more significant.”
Stacey says when he got to the crease he saw a big pool of blood and knew right away the emergency action plan was happening.
Tynan had a laceration to his leg.
“Chris Trivieri did an unbelievable job in terms of… he was there, he was calm, cool, he’d already stabilized like in terms of locating where the wound was and right away was giving me direction,” Stacey said.
Tynan, who is from Chicago, Ill., and is in his first year in the Ontario Hockey League, was attended to by trainers and medical personnel for a considerable amount of time as proper protocols were followed.
Stacey says his primary job during the ordeal was to keep talking to Tynan while Trivieri and medical personnel begin on ice treatment of the goalie’s injury.
“I didn’t want him to talk about the wound. Instead, I just said, you know what? These guys have things under control. I said, how are you feeling? Do you feel cold? Do you? I was more trying to talk to him just so that he was engaged with me and that he could focus on something else.”
Stacey says the idea behind such a discussion was to redirect Tynan’s focus on other things than his immediate injury.
“Because if he gets agitated, you can go into shock and shock can often be more damaging to anything than the actual injury,” said Stacey.
The 17-year old was eventually taken off the ice on a stretcher and transported to hospital. The IceDogs tweeted just before midnight that Tynan had undergone successful surgery and was “stable and safe in hospital.”
Tynan’s injury is the second serious leg injury Stacey has dealt with in his time as Knights trainer. In 2014, then Knights netminder Anthony Stolarz, who now plays in the American Hockey League, was accidentally cut on the back of the leg by a skate blade in a game against the Saginaw Spirit.
Stolarz injury came during a shoving match in front of the net. He was also removed from the ice on a stretcher and sent to hospital to get 55 stitches to close a wound.
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“So in that situation, it was quite fortunate that it was just the muscle belly. There was no major damage to blood vessels or nerves or tendons, which are often more career limiting. And he returned to play in five weeks.”
Tynan’s injury led to the postponement of the Knights-IceDogs game which will be made-up at the Meridian Centre later this season.
The OHL has also postponed the IceDogs two games scheduled road games on Saturday in Peterbrough and Sunday in Ottawa.