Beaulieu plays through pain

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:11 AM ET

OWEN SOUND -- Right now, Josh Beaulieu is a lot like the thirsty traveller who stumbles onto a mirage in the desert.

With David Bolland suspended and Jordan Foreman out with an injury, the hard-working London Knights forward sees plenty of ice time and power-play opportunities available, but he isn't currently in a position to enjoy them.

It's no secret Beaulieu is playing through pain after ramming into the Owen Sound net in the opening game of London's Western Conference semifinal series against the Attack. As per playoff tradition, the Knights aren't revealing the nature of his injury, but the way he went into the post, it has to be a rib or a hip complication.

"You get excited -- it was the first or second shift of the first period in the series -- and you're skating as hard as you can to the net," said Beaulieu, a 19-year-old Comber native. "That stuff happens, but it's playoff time and if you can, you have to find a way to play through it. That's where it's at right now. We have some injuries and guys missing and we need a big effort from everybody who can go."

Beaulieu, who didn't practise on Tuesday, is encouraged by the thought that many top hockey players come through with their most inspirational performances when they don't feel at their physical peak. It takes a special person to forget about what's bothering them and contribute to the team cause.

"Right now, it's mind over matter," the Philadelphia Flyers draft pick said. "It becomes a mental thing on whether or not you can play and help the team. It's the playoffs, everyone has things they're going through and it's up to you to play as well as you can."

One thing that gives the Knights hope is that the longer they extend the series, the better chance they have of getting their players back. Forward Kris Belan, who was suspended five games for uttering a slur at referee Darcy Burchell in Game 3 against Sault Ste. Marie, is eligible to return tomorrow night.

Foreman, like Beaulieu, has a high pain tolerance and won't be out of the lineup for any longer than necessary. You get the feeling as long as he can walk, he'll be out there.


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