Editor’s Note: This story has been updated since original posting. Update is below.
Atlanta Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec collapsed on the ice early in Friday night’s game against the Washington Capitals. 2:25 into the first period, Pavelec tapped his stick to get the attention of the Thrashers bench during a stoppage of play at the opposite end of the ice. With no one around, he fell backwards and his teammates rushed to his aid and the training staff called for a stretcher to be brought to the ice.
The second of two reports released during the game started that he was “awake, alert, and asking about the score of the game.” He underwent preliminary testing- it was unstated what for- that came back negative. He was also kept overnight at a local hospital in Atlanta for observation.
Goalie Chris Mason, who had to enter the game to replace Pavelec, said he had trouble concentrating at first and that his thoughts went out to the 23-year-old’s family in the Czech Republic.
“It was awful,” he said. “I just imagined like everyone else – his family’s across the sea. You just think they’re probably following the game and something like that happens and we don’t know what’s going on, it’s probably a helpless feeling. You can’t help it.”
The Thrashers play later tonight in Tampa. The video from the Comcast Sportsnet feed can be seen here. Stay tuned for updates on Pavelec’s condition as it develops.
UPDATE at 7:30 p.m. Pavelec was diagnosed with a concussion and remains in a local hospital in Atlanta. The Thrashers recalled goaltender Drew MacIntyre from AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves. The Thrashers released a statement saying that Pavelec “has a concussion and a subsequent headache but is fully alert and doing well. He remains in the hospital and will undergo further testing.”