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

Finchdawg

October 8th, 2010
8:03 pm

Wow. Not a good start to the season. Get well soon, man.

Brendan

October 8th, 2010
8:10 pm

Our prayers go out to the 23rd year old netminder from the Czech Republic. I presume they took him to Grady, after his collapse. Many of us wanted to see Chris Mason, tonight. But not like this. By the way, the first shot against Mason was a goal, on a beautiful 3-way passing play by the Capitals.

WAshington 1, Atlanta 0

Wildcat81

October 8th, 2010
8:10 pm

Prayers and best wishes to Pavelec. He has always seemed a great fellow and super to kids when visiting practices.
From a sport standpoint, noone wants this, but his health and family override any other consideration. The rest will take care of itself, but hopefully awesome Doc’s & staff are helping him in the ER tonight.

Brendan

October 8th, 2010
8:11 pm

Evander Kane, has answered for Atlanta, to tie the score at 1-1.

Kelly

October 8th, 2010
8:11 pm

Caps fan here; we were watching the game and saw him go down. May God bless him, his family, and the Atlanta Thrashers.

puckmeister

October 8th, 2010
8:24 pm

Chris – At the game. Please keep us posted. Thanks.

puckfan

October 8th, 2010
8:25 pm

Hope all is well with pav. Thoughts go out to the family and thrashers

Jacqueline

October 8th, 2010
8:27 pm

Caps fan here. Sending my prayers to Pavelec, his family and teammates.

steve

October 8th, 2010
8:27 pm

saw the reply on tv. that was messed up. He just collapsed with nothing going on. laid on the ice spread eagle.

mother pucker

October 8th, 2010
8:27 pm

Prayers go out to you young man. Im hoping to see the “All is Well” headline soon.

Scary stuff.

jackie

October 8th, 2010
8:29 pm

Sending prayers to Pavelec

jp

October 8th, 2010
8:31 pm

This is a really bad thing. Forget his career, something like this may be life threatening. Let’s hope he recover quickly

Dwayne

October 8th, 2010
8:31 pm

Prayers 4 Pavs!!!!

Brendan

October 8th, 2010
8:31 pm

Do we know, yet, what happened to Pavelec? He wasn’t touched; he just collapsed. Remember when we lost Kari, in the 1st period, of the 1st game of the season, back in 2005? It was the 1st game coming out of the lockout. Speaking of Kari, he’s given up 3 goals tonight, vs. NJ. And yes, Kovalchuk has two-points, already, for the season.

Michael

October 8th, 2010
8:34 pm

Hope pavs is ok. gotta say ive seen nothing but class from caps fans.

Boltflasher

October 8th, 2010
8:34 pm

Lightning fan here watching, hoping, and praying that the young man is OK and regained consciousness….

Steve

October 8th, 2010
8:39 pm

Looks very similar to what happened to Jiri Fischer of the Red Wings a few years back, when he went into cardiac arrest… I hope that’s not the case.

Ovi8

October 8th, 2010
8:39 pm

Caps fan here. I hope he is ok. I immediately started praying for him.

Einar

October 8th, 2010
8:39 pm

I really hope he’s okay… Really scary when something like this happens…

Jacqueline

October 8th, 2010
8:39 pm

Bottom line, a true hockey fan doesn’t wanna see anything bad happen to any of these guys. As much as we may be passionate about a rivalry, that is all set aside when you see something happen like this.

Jason

October 8th, 2010
8:42 pm

Detroit fan here extending get-well wishes for Pavelec.

JSS

October 8th, 2010
8:42 pm

We are all with you young fella!

Randal Patrick McMurphy

October 8th, 2010
8:42 pm

This isn’t about hockey… this is about a mans life. Godspeed, Ondrej Pavelec!!!

bdog

October 8th, 2010
8:43 pm

Passed right in front of our section on stretcher. Eyes were open and moving. God bless.

Jessamine

October 8th, 2010
8:43 pm

Thanks to all the non-Thrasher folks taking the time to come here and support Ondrej. It’s really appreciated. I know even amongst the deepest rivalries, none of us want any of these guys to be seriously injured. I’m saying prayers and hoping for good news soon.

Tony C.

October 8th, 2010
8:44 pm

Wow. Does not sound good. Light some candles for O-P….

Gary

October 8th, 2010
8:44 pm

The good news, and the difference between this and Fischer, was that there was no CPR. He did not budge though, going off ice. The med personnel had to hold his arms on the cart. The longer this goes with no news the worse off the scenario. They won’t make a bad announcement until family is notified. Prayers indeed.

Boltflasher

October 8th, 2010
8:45 pm

Thanks bdog….good to hear!!! Hope Thrash win the game (but not tomorrow!)

leoleo

October 8th, 2010
8:47 pm

Blackhawk lifer here…….very sad and scary.

I wish him all the best!

Jacqueline

October 8th, 2010
8:48 pm

I know it’s not about hockey. I was referring to someone’s comment about non-Thrashers fans being respectful about the situation.

Ovi8

October 8th, 2010
8:49 pm

Great to hear bdog!! Eyes open and moving is a great sign!

wild fan

October 8th, 2010
8:52 pm

minnesota wild fan here. keeping pav in my prayers.

Pens fan

October 8th, 2010
8:57 pm

Godspeed Pav.
Hang in there Thrasher fans.

Lee

October 8th, 2010
8:57 pm

Oh man, that was scary. I’m at the game, didn’t see the fall but last thing I did see was Pavs outstretched on the ice. Glad he’s ok….

redevil

October 8th, 2010
9:07 pm

Ranger fan all my life but pulling for a Thrasher tonight.. Hope all is well with the young man, I’m sure that’s a heavy hearted team out on the ice tonight.. my thoughts all Thrasher team.

ahap

October 8th, 2010
9:07 pm

Hope Pav is ok…doesn’t look good though…..by the way….what’s all this “prayers with him” stuff? So, let me get this straight…this god-fella strikes the goalie down (he is all powerful and controlling) and just minutes later everyone is calling this god-dude to cure him? What gives….

If there was a god…would it just be smarter to not stricken the guy in the first place? Just sayin’.

Tony C.

October 8th, 2010
9:09 pm

c’mon ahap-not really the time or place to start that debate huh?

the fish

October 8th, 2010
9:12 pm

Wouldn’t know what it looked like as DISH blacked out Sports South in some dispute with Fox.
Great way to start the season.
Give up now…..

Dennis

October 8th, 2010
9:13 pm

@ Kelly – thanks for your wishes and your show of good sportsmanship.

There are a coupld of low-life Aints fans who could learn something from you.

Again, thanks!

TTP

October 8th, 2010
9:14 pm

AHAP. C you at church on Sunday.

Joe Friday

October 8th, 2010
9:24 pm

Obviously very concerned for the young man, but anyone think mabye the boy was just on the flu that’s going around and didn’t want to say anything as it was his start and fainted?

Brendan

October 8th, 2010
9:24 pm

Tremendous show of support by fans across the league for our fallen netminder. Thanks for the well wishes and prayers head the Thrashers way. Hopefully, we’ll have some news later on, tonight.

paha

October 8th, 2010
9:25 pm

ahap – why does it make you so angry that people are praying for pav? You seem so confused by the issue. maybe church isn’t what you need – maybe you should just be kept back in the 7th grade.

Captain Joe

October 8th, 2010
9:26 pm

From San Jose good luck man

wag

October 8th, 2010
9:27 pm

Carm

October 8th, 2010
9:27 pm

Habs Fan here. Prayers and best wishes to Pavelec and his family, friends and teammate.

NatsGal

October 8th, 2010
9:29 pm

Caps fan here, very scary. Sure hope he is ok.

Richard Bagge

October 8th, 2010
9:29 pm

Gwinnett Glads fan here wishing Pavelec the best!

Brendan

October 8th, 2010
9:29 pm

Now’s not the time to attack people’s religious faith. It’s a time to send well-wishes to a young man, struggling right now.

Gary

October 8th, 2010
9:31 pm

This is the only place saying he regained consciousness. I hope you are right! Many prayers, and good work to you if the report is accurate.