Updated: Pavelec collapses, in stable condition

Thrashers starting goaltender Ondrej Pavelec was taken off the ice on a stretcher after losing consciousness and collapsing during the Thrashers season opener Friday night.

According to team officials, Pavelec, 23, was taken to an undisclosed local hospital for further evaluation. Pavelec later regained consciousness and was in stable condition. Preliminary tests were negative and Pavelec was said to be asking about the score of the game from the hospital. He was held overnight for observation. There was no word of the cause of the collapse.

“It was awful,” said Thrashers goaltender Chris Mason, who came in relief of Pavelec in the 4-2 victory. “You imagine his family across the sea, they are probably following the game and something like that happens. It must be a helpless feeling. It was tough. To be honest, I had trouble focusing when I first got in there. I couldn’t stop thinking about him.”

Thrashers players learned that Pavelec was in stable condition during the first intermission. Defensman Dustin Byfuglien urged teammates to win the game for Pavelec.

“It’s something where you step up and play hard,” Byfuglien said. “He wouldn’t have quit working if it happened to someone else. We can’t do the same. We felt bad for him. As a team we had to come together and get the victory for him.”

Pavelec collapsed while the action was at the other end of the ice, just 2:25 into the game. Medical personnel immediately rushed to Pavelec’s aid after he was spread out on the ice.

Television replay showed Pavelec crouched in the goal crease at the far end of the ice with the Thrashers in the Washington Capitals’ zone. When Pavelec came back into view, he was down on the ice.

“We got through the first period and that was the hardest part,” Mason said. “It was hard trying to focus and play a game and have that killer instinct and game mentality when you can’t stop thinking about your teammate.”

“It takes courage and some leadership,” Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said. “We called them over and just talked about the fact that … would he like us to just fold up our tent and go home? And the obvious answer is no. I thought the players responded extremely well and I thought our goalie went in and was just wonderful.”

There was no visible movement from Pavelec as the stretcher was being removed from the ice. He was going in and out of consciousness while being loaded for transport.

The Capitals took a 1-0 lead 53 seconds after the game resumed. However, the Thrashers answered with three straight goals, two by Evander Kane. Andrew Ladd also scored his first goal was a Thrashers. Fredrik Modin iced the game for the Thrashers with a third-period goal after the Capitals had pulled to within 3-2.

“Everyone was on the same page to win one for him,” Kane said. “… A lot of people were concerned that we didn’t win a game in the preseason but I think we had the confidence in the room to know we were a better team that than and we were able to show it tonight.”

121 comments Add your comment


October 8th, 2010
9:35 pm



October 8th, 2010
9:38 pm

isles fan wishing all the best to pav……hope he’s ok…..so scary…saw replay……hope it’s nothing serious……..praying for you pav


October 8th, 2010
9:38 pm

Stars fan here. I hope everything ends up okay with Pavelec. Scary stuff, good to know he has regained consciousness.


October 8th, 2010
9:42 pm

Prayers for Pavelec
Kudos to Chris Mason for his work under difficult circumstances.

steven and family from vancouver

October 8th, 2010
9:43 pm

good luck ondrej and get better soon from all the canuck fans!
we pray for you.


October 8th, 2010
9:45 pm

My prayers are also with PAV! Get well soon and back to the ice. My prayers are also with ahap….you need to know God.


October 8th, 2010
9:46 pm

My thoughts and prayers will be said for young Pavelec….and I will include ahap.


October 8th, 2010
9:49 pm

announcer just said he is awake and asking about score of game
will be kept overnight


October 8th, 2010
10:06 pm

4-2! Good start Thrashers!



October 8th, 2010
10:16 pm

Wow. Health comes first, man. Take your time and get well. Go Thrashers.


October 8th, 2010
10:21 pm




October 8th, 2010
10:24 pm

Glad Pavy seems to be ok. Great opening night win. It had to be tough channeling the emotions after a horrible thing happened so early.

Reggie Dunlap

October 8th, 2010
10:26 pm

Old time hockey.

Kris in NC

October 8th, 2010
10:43 pm

Canes Fan here. Read about Pavs on twitter. Let’s hope it is quick and speedy recovery for him. Shout out to all NHL fans who are showing real class by stopping by and sending good wishes to a rival team’s player.

Flames Fan

October 8th, 2010
10:48 pm

Flames fan here, glad to hear Pav is alert and talking. All teams and rivalries aside, none of us ever want to see someone go down like that.
Get well soon kiddo.


October 8th, 2010
10:49 pm

I love hockey fans. Go Thrashers!


October 8th, 2010
10:54 pm

Prayers for Ondrej. Go Thrashers.

cousin Eddie

October 8th, 2010
10:56 pm

Just saw the video on HF boards. Very scary moment. Started feeling sick just watching the two videos. Hope it’s just the flu or something.


October 8th, 2010
10:59 pm

God be with you .. Praying for a safe recovery <3

david schoolcraft

October 8th, 2010
11:07 pm

Bruins fan here, best wishes to Ondrej and his family get well soon.


October 8th, 2010
11:20 pm

Caps fan here. Get well soon Pav, and back on the ice.


October 8th, 2010
11:22 pm

Caps+Pens fan here, wishing Ondrej and family the best! I myself am a hockey goalie, and have been in situations like this before. Its scary. Good job Chris Mason, well done indeed. <3


October 8th, 2010
11:28 pm

I hope Pavelec gets the game puck. I’d have to think the Thrashers dedicated tonight’s win to him. And this is a big win, on every level.

1. It’s Ramsay/Torchetti’s first since coming here. 1.00 pct.
2. It’s an “Opening Night” win.
3. It’s a divisional win.
4. It’s a win over the President’s Trophy winner from last season.
5. Ovechkin was kept to a point; the Thrashers “system” worked. At least, tonight, it did.
6. Chris Mason, the UFA netminder signing, stepped up and won, his Thrashers regular season debut, even if it was in relief.
7. It helps the Thrashers keep pace with 2-0-0 Carolina
8. It showed character, to step up, after what happened to Pavelec

That about covers it. Nope, not quite.

9. It sends a message to a ‘weary fanbase’ … that this is a NEW DAY in Thrasherville. If Atlanta can beat Washington, the projected # 1 or # 2 team in the Conference, then anything is possible this season. This is just the start that the Thrashers organization hoped to have. If the Atlanta market is to flock to Philips Arena, wins are the cheese that bring all the mice. This is a nice start. Truly. Except for the Pavelec injury, of course. Are we bringing up Mannino?


October 8th, 2010
11:33 pm

i personally knew ondrej really well… im praying for his health… GET WELL SOON ONDREJ!!


October 8th, 2010
11:39 pm

Enter your comments here
Caps fan here, hoping he is OK. Much as I love my team and the game, this is way more important.

cousin Eddie

October 8th, 2010
11:43 pm

had to find a link on the web to watch game cause of dish network clowns. From what I saw, everyone worked together really well (except Bergfors). The most potent offense in NHL only mustard 15 shots on goal by the end of 2nd period. My jaw dropped after seeing that. Nice to see some one (Coach Ramahorn) know what they are doing. I give credit to him for tonight’s success. Very well prepared and the team looked like a well-oiled machine. Nice win and looking forward to tomorrow’s game.

cousin Eddie

October 8th, 2010
11:44 pm

Totally forgot about Pavs. Get well soon!


October 8th, 2010
11:44 pm

Those who haven’t seen it … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieqeCnA_TjM

just frightening to watch.


October 8th, 2010
11:59 pm

Man, really cool hearing from you fans across the country. Thanks for your thoughts. Yours and our prayers are with him!


October 9th, 2010
12:00 am

I was at the game, and it was really strange. He was lying there like a starfish, not moving at all, and nobody had a clue as to what happened.

Great win, though. Shots evened out toward the end, but it was something like 13-6 in favor of the Thrashers after the first. Defense!

Get well quickly Pavs!

For The Record

October 9th, 2010
12:07 am

Talk about a surreal situation…..Pavs made a save, the puck went the other way and by the time we looked back at our goal, he was just there….Laid out with absolutely no motion and the med staff could be seen checking his pulse. The most bizarre thing I think I’ve ever witnessed at a sporting event in my life.

Hope he’s OK and hope they find out what caused it. Great to hear that he was asking about the score when he regained consciousness!! Awesome showing by the new Thrash tonight….Get well soon Pavs!!


October 9th, 2010
12:08 am

How big was that goal by Modin?


October 9th, 2010
12:14 am

Hi Chris. This was posted to Rawhide earlier. Wanted ton share with you…

Hello (Chris) sir. I am tremendously distressed by what happen4ed to young Thrasher netminder. Proud of way team rallied to win one for youngster. Would be utterly joyful right now but thoughts are with ailing goaltender. Since SportSouth chose not to air contest I was forced to view horrifying collapse on SportsCenter. Could tell something was terribly wrong. Have apprehension for young athlete. Please do me a favor )Chris). Tell him Stendek wishes him well. Speediest of recoveries. Young man has worked hard. Hope to see him between the pipes soon. Real soon. Congratulations for a total team effort Thrashers. Under worst possible circumstances. STENDEK


October 9th, 2010
12:15 am

That was completely bizzare and awful. Get well soon Ondrej! Great to hear he was conscious and obviously coherent if he was asking about the game.

Also thanks to those posting support from around the country.Yet another reason I love hockey and the Thrashers. Hockey fans are the best!


October 9th, 2010
12:20 am

Heartfelt prayers, and positive energy to this fine young man,and his Family.

Many thanks to all in the Hockey community for your support.
Hockey fans are the BEST!


October 9th, 2010
12:29 am

Caps fan here. Was watching the game live on TV, and I feared the worst. I was hugely relived to hear that he regained consciousness, and I wish him a quick and full recovery.

I’ve been watching hockey for a long time, and that was easily the scariest thing I’ve ever seen on a hockey rink. We were watching for the tiniest sign of movement from him, anything to give us some hope, and there just wasn’t anything. Just awful to watch – it literally made me feel sick. Again, I’m really glad that he appears to be doing OK.

Hockey Biltong

October 9th, 2010
12:41 am

Thanks to all you classy NHL fans, for your support of our goalie….


October 9th, 2010
12:41 am

You have class Max. Thanks. STENDEK


October 9th, 2010
12:42 am

This right here is why hockey fans are the best fans ever.

So freaky – scared the crap out of me, scared bigger craps out of my girls. Glad to know Pavs is stable and hopefully this was an isolated incident. So proud of the boys for the way they stepped up tonight.


October 9th, 2010
12:44 am

Awesome start!!!!! Hockey fans are the best…Prayers for Pavs.


October 9th, 2010
12:47 am

I rant and rave quite a bit. I understand that. Get angry at Thrashers because I want so desperately for them to succeed. Never want any of them permanently injured. When they go elsewhere that is different tale. Wanted broken neck for EAGLE Michael Sick. Since Makeuill Kovalchoke and Sori Letemin now in non Thrasher uniforms…a pox on both the hearttless untalented pieces of commode residue. That bestard Maryann Hosebag will get his sooner or later too. Hope it is damn sooner! Stanley Cup my a$$! STENDEK

Joe Friday

October 9th, 2010
12:52 am

“that was easily the scariest thing I’ve ever seen on a hockey rink.”

“scared the crap out of me”

You two don’t watch much hockey, eh? A guy fainting is the scariest thing you’ve ever seen on a hockey rink? Really? No, really?!?

[...] was taken to the hospital where he regained consciousness. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says Pavelec is in stable condition and being held overnight for observation. Though they’re unsure what caused the collapse, [...]


October 9th, 2010
1:04 am

Your are an idiot, stendek – broken neck??? Sad.


October 9th, 2010
1:08 am

Joe Friday – also an idiot!


October 9th, 2010
1:12 am

Is is “too soon” to talk about who we’re bringing up to be the backup to Mason, tonight?


October 9th, 2010
1:22 am

I am done w/ JF. After such a serious episode, your comment to Sara and whoever the other commenter was callously classless. We were all scared for Pavs, as was warranted by his reasonless collapse.


October 9th, 2010
1:28 am

I found Pavelec collapses uncensored video here:

WARNING, strong scenes

Alan R.

October 9th, 2010
1:52 am

I’d say you’re safe, Brendan. After all, I’m sure this is something both Dudley and Ramsay were pondering long before we’ve ever considered it.

I think MacIntyre gets the call. We’ve got a long road trip ahead of us, and I think MacIntyre is the most experienced out of the choices we have.

Football Fan......now a hockey fan!

October 9th, 2010
6:45 am

I am a Mother of a son who plays football……Pav was born 3 days before my son……..regardless of the sport a motherly instinct will “always’ kick in! When I saw him lying there my heart dropped. My heart goes out to Pav, his family (especially the MOM) his teammates and the Thrasher fans! My hopes are that he gets better….and I watched the rest of the game so I like hockey now!