SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WGGB) — The heart pounding moments were caught on camera: Falcons forward Wade MacLeod hit head first into the boards by an opposing Adirondack Phantoms player. MacLeod stayed on his feet but as he approached the Falcons bench, collapsed to the ice.
“He just went into complete convulsion,” season ticket holder Lance Koske said. “It was very scary to see. Shaking non stop for 30 seconds.”
Koske and other fans were stunned. Teammates helplessly stood by MacLeod’s side as doctors and EMTs worked to stabilize him. He was rushed to Baystate Medical Center. Falcons President and General Manager Bruce Landon says both teams agreed to postpone the game.
“I’ve seen a lot of things in my life in hockey, serious injuries, major injuries but I think with a player having a seizure right in front of the players bench actually in clear view of both benches to watch, it was very traumatic for players on both sides,” Landon said.
There were thousands of fans at the game on Sunday. Those in attendance say an eerie silence overcame the MassMutual Center.
“You could hear a pin drop in there,” Koske said. “There was a little anger toward the other player, but other than that it was just scary. You just stood there and stared the whole time, waiting to see what was going to happen.”
MacLeod was released from the hospital Monday afternoon and is expected to be okay. Doctors hope further medical tests will determine exactly what caused the seizure. In the meantime, Landon says the 26-year-old is staying positive.
“His spirits are good. Considering everything, his spirits were good last night,” Landon said. “We’re just happy that wade’s doing well. He’s a classy classy young man, very true professional.”
There’s no word on when MacLeod will be allowed back on the ice. His family happened to be in town visiting for the weekend so they went with him to the hospital. The Phantoms player was given a two-minute penalty for boarding in the play. Adirondack was leading the game 2-1 in the second period when it was postponed. Macleod actually registered an assist on that first goal. The Falcons hope to have a rescheduled date for the game later in the week. The Adirondack Phantoms are already scheduled to be back in town for a game March First.
MacLeod is in his third season with the Falcons. He had no known history of seizures or epilepsy.