Player bloodied by stick to face
HAMILTON, Ontario -- Cleveland Barons defenseman Garrett Stafford was taken to a hospital after being struck in the head with a stick by Hamilton Bulldogs forward Alexander Perezhogin on Friday night during an AHL playoff game.
Stafford was on his knees when he was struck, and he fell to the ice, blood gushing from a gash on his face. He was attended to by a doctor and trainers and then was taken to Hamilton General Hospital, where he was treated and released, a spokeswoman for Hamilton Health Sciences told the Hamilton Spectator.
The AHL suspended Perezhogin indefinitely without pay on Saturday, pending further review of the incident. There was no word Friday night whether any criminal charges will be brought.
"I don't think this guy should ever play again in North America," Barons coach Roy Sommer said Friday. "That's a travesty. I saw it on tape ... and it's even worse on tape."
Stafford was injured in the first period, and Cleveland went on to a 4-1 victory that brought it within 3-2 in the series. The best-of-seven series resumes Sunday in Cleveland.
"I've been doing hockey my whole life, and I've never seen anything like it," Sommer said.
Bulldogs coach Doug Jarvis said his team's thoughts are with Stafford.
"My only thoughts right now is that Garrett Stafford is all right," he said. "That's what we're all hoping for at this time."
Vancouver police have finished their investigation in that case, and a decision on charges is pending.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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