SPRINGFIELD (WGGB) — The Springfield Falcons took to the ice this morning for their first practice since player Wade MacLeod’s injury.
It didn’t take long for the Falcons to get back up to speed after Sunday nights unexpected game stoppage.
With under 4 minutes left in the 2nd period, Adirondack defenseman Brandon Manning slammed Falcons Wade MacLeod against the boards.
McLeod fell to the ice in a seizure and had to be carried off on a stretcher.
“I think both teams were shaken,” said head coach Brad Larsen. “I mean we’ve seen guys who’ve busted their leg and things like that – it’s dramatic. But this is a different set of circumstances.”
So different it rarely happens in the AHL – a game actually delayed and then stopped altogether.
Both teams and refs agreed, it wouldn’t be appropriate to continue with play.
“At that moment our biggest concern was the safety of Wade and how he was doing and trying to – you know – our thoughts and prayer were with him,” explained Falcons team captain Ryan Craig.
And so too were the thoughts of Manning, the player who checked MacLeod in the first place.
He was given 2 minutes in the penalty box.
The consensus of the team, the check was a normal hockey hit and not particularly bad. But still, Manning felt bad enough right after the game to send out this tweet:
‘Would like to give my best to Wade MacLeod and his family. Never had any intention of ever hurting another player.’
MacLeod, from the hospital, tweeted Manning back: ‘Wish the whole Adirondack organization a big thank you for all their love and support.”
“We looked at the hit 4 or 5 times and it wasn’t a vicious hit, an overly aggressive hit. Those hits happen constantly,” said Larsen.
“It’s a hockey play. I really think it’s a hockey play. I don’t think the guy had any intent to injure Wade. He hit him obviously but I don’t think the intent was there, “ said Craig.
MacLeod is now out of the hospital and doing much better.
He still has to undergo several tests and evaluations before he can be cleared to get back out on the ice.
The Falcons announced Tuesday afternoon that the Falcons and Phantoms will finish the game Friday, March 1 at 6:05 p.m., before the two teams begin their regularly scheduled game at 7:30 p.m.
The game will resume with 3:42 left in the second period, with the Phantoms leading 2 to 1, and the Falcons beginning a power play.
The public is invited to attend the end of the first game for free. Once that game is over, fans will be asked to leave the MassMutual Center before reentering to have their 7:30 game tickets scanned.