Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hansen back on feet after scary incident

Tyler Hansen of the Kamloops Blazers will be fine
after a scary incident in Kelowna
on Saturday night.

(Murray Mitchell / Kamloops Daily News files)
By GREGG DRINNAN
Daily News Sports Editor

Tyler Hansen didn’t think it would be proper decorum to stand up in Kelowna General Hospital and celebrate a victory by his Kamloops Blazers over the host Rockets on Saturday night.
So when he heard the final score — Blazers 3, Rockets 2 — he just quietly cheered to himself.
Earlier in the evening, the veteran Kamloops defenceman had found himself on a stretcher and in an ambulance for the first time in his life.
That happened after he took a late second period hit to the head on what all involved, including Hansen, say was a freaky play without any intent to injure.
Hansen, 19, said he was involved in a puck battle along the boards and ended up in a position with his head sticking out. At that point, one of the Rockets who was in pursuit of the puck made contact with Hansen’s head “and kind of gave me some serious whiplash.”
Hansen fell to the ice and stayed there.
“I tried to get up for a second,” he said Monday afternoon while his teammates practised at Interior Savings Centre, “but I just didn’t have a lot of movement and my body felt kind of weird. It felt tingly . . . a tingling feeling throughout my body. The main thing was my neck was just really sore.
“So I knew something was wrong and I decided to stay down.”
Later, Hansen said, a doctor told him it was “a really bad stinger,” similar to an injury common among football players, especially when they take a direct hit to a shoulder.
Colin Robinson, the Blazers’ trainer, tended to Hansen before a stretcher was brought out.
“The next thing I knew there was all this stuff going on,” Hansen said. “It was all precautionary but I’m glad they took those necessary steps to make sure I was fine.”
Never before had Hansen found himself strapped to a stretcher or in an ambulance.
“That was a first time for me,” he said. “What a different experience. It was a little bit scary. Yes, it was frightening.
I’m just glad they took me to the hosptial and checked me out and made sure there was nothing serious going on.”
While in hospital, Hansen underwent X-rays, all of which were negative, and was placed in a neck brace. That brought back memories of teammate Austin Madaisky, who spent weeks in a neck brace after suffering a broken vertebra in a game on Feb. 4, 2011.
“I don’t know how he was in that for a long time,” Hansen said with a rueful chuckle. “I was in it for two to three hours and I was already sick of that thing.”
Prior to being released from hospital, Hansen spoke with a doctor who instructed him to stand up.
“I was a little bit hesitant because I was in a neck brace for about three hours,” Hansen related. “But I stood up and started moving my neck and I felt that as I moved it the stronger and the better it felt. He told me just not to be scared and not to be hesitant and I knew then that I would be fine.”
As he watched his teammates skate yesterday, Hansen said he was feeling “a lot better,” but admitted that he was “a little sore and a little foggy.”
He underwent concussion testing on Monday morning and is doubtful for this weekend’s games — the Blazers are to play the Royals in Victoria on Friday night and Sunday afternoon.
“We’ll see about this weekend,” Hansen said, “but hopefully next weekend for sure.”
Meanwhile, Tyler Bell, Hansen’s defence partner, was back on the ice yesterday after leaving Friday’s 6-5 overtime victory over visiting Kelowna in the first period with a sore right knee. Bell didn’t play Saturday but should be in the lineup in Victoria.
Goaltender Cole Cheveldave, who left after two periods Friday after being run into by Kelowna forward Colton Sissons, is to be re-evaluated on Wednesday.
With Cheveldave not able to practise, the Blazers had local minor hockey products Ty Hamer-Jackson and Bailey De Palma join Taran Kozun on the ice. Hamer-Jackson backed up Kozun in Kelowna on Saturday.
JUST NOTES: The Blazers revealed yesterday afternoon that LW Brendan Ranford, 20, will leave this week to attend training camp with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs. Ranford, who has one goal in two games, was to have attended the parent Montreal Canadiens’ camp on a tryout basis before the NHL imposed a lockout on the NHLPA. . . . The Blazers will leave for Victoria on Friday morning and play that night at 7. Sunday’s game is to start at 1 p.m. . . . The Blazers will appear four times on Shaw TV this season — Oct. 5, versus Seattle; Dec. 12, at Edmonton; Feb. 1, vs. Spokane; and, March 8, vs. Kelowna. The three home games are all Friday nights.

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