The Adirondack Phantoms’ game in Springfield was suspended Sunday after a Springfield Falcons player was seriously injured.
Wade MacLeod of the Falcons was taken to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield after suffering a seizure following a second-period hit. The Falcons, in a news release issued after the game, said MacLeod was “stable and alert.”
The Phantoms’ Brandon Manning was given a two-minute minor penalty for boarding on the play, on which MacLeod hit his head on the glass. MacLeod got up at first, the whistle blew, Manning took a seat in the penalty box and the players returned to their respective benches. About 20 seconds after the hit, MacLeod collapsed in front of the bench, according to Phantoms head coach Terry Murray.
The team trainer and emergency medical personnel put MacLeod on a backboard to stabilize his head, neck and back and then put him on a stretcher and transported him to the hospital.
After a stoppage of about 15 minutes, the officials sent both teams to their dressing rooms early for the second intermission. During the intermission, however, both coaches and the four on-ice officials began discussing how to proceed. The discussion was then brought to Falcons owner Bruce Landon, who had his own conversation with AHL officials, Murray said. The league proposed suspending the game and Murray said he agreed for the sake of both teams.
“Players were very visibly shaken up,” Murray said by phone. “They were very upset about it, as were our players.”
MacLeod’s family later issued a statement indicating that the player was in “good” condition, according to The Associated Press.
“We would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming show of support for Wade tonight,” MacLeod’s family said in the statement. “Wade is alert, in good condition, in positive spirits, and is resting comfortably at Baystate Medical Center. He will remain at the hospital while he undergoes tests. We are deeply appreciative of all the caring and kind words we have received from family, friends, and fans.”
The doctor who had been on the ice with MacLeod addressed both teams after MacLeod had been taken to the hospital. She explained what she had seen and told the players that MacLeod was stable and responsive, trying to “take some of the concern away,” Murray said.
Murray also pointed out that the glass at the MassMutual Center is particularly hard and unforgiving and that MacLeod definitely hit his head on it.
Manning was not available for comment, but he did make a statement on Twitter after the game: “would like to give my best to Wade MacLeod and his family. never had any intention of ever hurting another player.” He also tweeted, “hope for a speedy recovery and see him back on the ice soon. thoughts and prayers to him and his family.”
The remainder of the game will be completed at a later date. At the time of the injury, the Phantoms held a 2-1 lead.