Friday, April 07, 2006


Thems the Breaks, Kid!

The Vancouver Giants will be meeting the Portland Winterhawks in the 2nd round of the WHL Playoffs.

The Giants rolled rather easily over the Prince George Cougars. The Winterhawks? They had a bit of a Hollywood-style victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds, complete with drama, 'the injury', and another grotesque story.

After failing to win Game 6 and clinch the series at the Rose Garden on Tuesday, the Hawks were flat to start Wednesday's game, played before 3,074 fans at KeyArena. Portland gave up three goals to Thunderbirds captain Aaron Gagnon in the first period.

But the Hawks' emotions were stirred as priorities refocused with the tenor of the game at the start of the second period. First, Hawks defenseman Lenny Thunderchild skated slowly off the ice with an apparent injured shoulder after absorbing a hit along the boards 32 seconds into the period.

Twenty seconds later, the game came to a halt for about 20 minutes when Hawks forward Kyle Bailey went facedown behind Seattle's net after an awkward crash into the boards, his right ankle bent grotesquely akimbo, the skate facing the wrong way.

Trainers, doctors and paramedics sprinted across the ice, and Hawks coaches Williamson and Brian Pellerin also attended to Bailey, who left the ice on a gurney, his leg splinted, his face twisted in obvious pain. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center with a possible broken right ankle, team officials said. They were more vague about Thunderchild's condition, saying only that he wouldn't return during the game.
Ouch! How about a first-hand description from 'natural_center'

Portland center Kyle Bailey goes awkwardly into the boards and begins WRITHING on the ice behind the play. Can't tell if he's hurt or having a seizure, it was so spastic and awful. Then we notice his FOOT IS POINTING THE WRONG DIRECTION. Kyle is laying on his stomach, and the toe of his skate is pointed up towards the sky. The only person on the ice who notices is Seattle goalie Bryan Bridges, who shouts for his trainer (Portland's trainer was in the locker room tending to Lenny) and the ref.

I had never cried DURING a hockey game before. I had never seen the doctor, not just the trainers and EMTs, brought out onto the ice, except on TV. I had never heard a player scream in pain from the stands. I'd never seen a coach on the ice, holding his injured player's hand.

Kyle Bailey, 'Bails,' the player fans voted Most Popular Winter Hawk, Minnesota Wild draftee, has a severely broken ankle and his career may be over.
For more details, and pictures, click here.

It could end up as one of those stories where the poor kid has his NHL dreams shattered (although he seems much more like an AHL prospect) before he finishes junior. The one positive is that the WHL has a great education program in place. Kyle has played 3 full years of WHL hockey, and will be entitled to 3 paid years of university education.

Oh god, that's horrible. I hope he gets better and will play hockey again. Poor guy.
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