SASKATOON - Saskatoon Bladesí Dalton Thrower has been suspended for the duration of the Memorial Cup for his hit on Portland Winterhawks forward Taylor Leier.
Thrower delivered a blow to the head of Leier Wednesday during the Winterhawks 4-2 win over the Blades in the 2013 Memorial Cup.
Leier had to be helped off the ice and will likely not play for the rest of the tournament.
ďHeís not doing great. I know he had a pretty good night (Wednesday) night,Ē said Winterhawksí coach Travis Green of Leier. ďIíll get a little more on it (Thursday.) But heís still not doing that well. But I donít expect him to play definitely (Friday) and I donít expect him to play on Sunday.Ē
Leier was cutting to the net when Thrower delivered the check. Leier went down immediately and was on the ice for several minutes. He was unable to walk to the dressing room.
He had concussion-like symptoms but did not spend the night in hospital.
The National Hockey League hockey operations handle supplemental discipline at the Memorial Cup tournament.
Thrower said he did not intend to injure Leier and didnít think he made any contact with his head.
ďI had a chance to look at it. I felt it was a clean hit,Ē Thrower said after the game. ďI talked to the referees. They said between the periods that they watched it and I got him in the shoulder with my chest. Itís a fast game. Iím angling him off to the wall. He decides to cut in and I finished my check. Iím not going to let him beat me to the net. There was no intention for a head shot. I didnít leave my feet and didnít bring my elbow out.Ē