Atlanta Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec was kept overnight in a hospital for further tests after being taken off the ice on a stretcher during the National Hockey League team’s season opener.
Pavelec, 23, was awake and alert after losing consciousness and falling to the ice 2:25 into the first period of the team’s 4-2 win over the Washington Capitals in Atlanta, the team said. Pavelec went down while the play was at the other end of Philips Arena. No Thrashers players or coaches saw him collapse.
“We didn’t know what was going on,” Thrashers defenseman Zach Bogosian said. “It was definitely scary. We’re just glad he’s OK.”
After play was stopped last night, Pavelec lay motionless on his back for about 15 minutes before being placed on a backboard by the team’s medical personnel and wheeled off the ice on a stretcher and taken to the hospital.
Thrashers president Don Waddell said Pavelec will undergo additional tests to determine why he collapsed.
“That’s the biggest thing,” Waddell said. “You want to find out why it happened.”
Pavelec was replaced in the game by Chris Mason, who stopped 29 shots for the victory.
Evander Kane led Atlanta with two goals, including one on a second-period penalty shot. Andrew Ladd and Fredrik Modin also scored for the Thrashers, while Brooks Laich and Mike Knuble had goals for Washington.