Peterborough Phantoms player Marc Levers was taken to hospital with a head injury which led to the abandonment of the club’s English Challenge Cup clash at Billingham last night (December 21).
The contest in the North-East was halted 1:51 into the final period after a collision with another player led to an off-balance Levers falling and hitting the back of his head on the ice.
The 33 year-old forward, a veteran of close to 800 career appearances, was reported to have briefly been knocked unconscious and also suffered the loss of a lot of blood.
Phantoms chief Slava Koulikov, whose side led their lower-level hosts 2-1 at the time, said: “I’m not sure whether or not Marc was knocked out, but he was conscious when I got over to him on the ice.
“It looked very nasty as he fell. There was a lot of blood and we couldn’t move him until the ambulance arrived.
“Thankfully Marc was able to be helped off the ice in the end before going to hospital.
“I’m sure he will need plenty of stitches and they will no doubt check him out for any possible concussion, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed for good news.
“The referee consulted both coaches and we felt it was the right decision to abandon the game.
“A trauma like that can also have an effect on other players and I don’t think they would have been comfortable with the game continuing.”
Levers was the most senior member of an all-British roster selected by Phantoms which featured Islanders defenceman Callum Worthington-Evans for the first time.
None of the club’s four imports were involved while Luke Ferrara was in action at Elite League level with Sheffield.
Captain James Ferrara and illness victims James Hutchinson (who had been laid low during the league victory over Manchester the previous night) and Cameron McGiffin were also absent.
Phantoms fell behind early on but they levelled later in the first period courtesy of the first goal of sixteen year-old Martin Susters’ senior career.
Alan Lack then fired them ahead in the second session and Phantoms still had the edge when the action was halted.
It is unclear whether or not the game will be replayed. The teams meet again at Planet Ice on Sunday (December 28).
The most significant match of next weekend is on Saturday (December 27) when Phantoms travel to Sheffield Steeldogs in the English Premier League.
Koulikov already believes it is highly unlikely that Levers will feature in either of those games.
4:15 Stuart-Dant ass: Sykes
14:47 Susters ass: Buckman
26:45 Lack ass: Robson