UPDATE X2: The Abbotsford Canucks have shared an update stating that Podkolzin was transported to a local hospital and is alert and responsive.
UPDATE: Vasily Podkolzin has sent out an update on his Instagram account indicating he is ok.
The Abbotsford Canucks completed a two-game sweep of the Colorado Eagles with a 5-2 win on Wednesday, but all attention has likely been shifted to the health of forward Vasily Podkolzin after a scary incident in the third period.
Podkolzin was forechecking with about 5:50 left in the third period when he was checked and slammed to the ice hard by Eagles defenceman Keaton Middleton.
Podkolzin landed with a loud thud and did not move following his landing. A brief close-up of the downed player on AHLTV saw him appear to be convulsing, as players from both teams frantically yelled for medical help.
Very scary situation. Middleton hit Podkolzin and he landed very awkwardly. Stretcher on the ice, it looked like Podkolzin was convulsing. Yikes pic.twitter.com/7ce23wKY03— Ben Lypka (@BenLypka) October 26, 2023
A stretcher was immediately brought onto the ice and Podkolzin was taken off the ice and presumably to a local hospital. The Abbotsford Canucks have not yet provided an update. The News has reached out to Canucks staff for an update.
Canucks fan Scott Spitters, who sits in a nearby section, stated that
It seemed like there was discussion between the two captains and the officials to possibly end the game early, but it was decided to play the final five minutes and change.
Both teams on the ice as Podkolzin is led off the ice in a stretcher pic.twitter.com/Ri6q3NH10v— Ben Lypka (@BenLypka) October 26, 2023
Middleton received a five-minute major penalty for interference and a 10-minute game misconduct.
Podkolzin is a former Vancouver Canucks first round draft pick and has been one of the team’s top players early into this AHL season, with five goals in the team’s first five games.
Former Vancouver Canucks defenceman Brad Hunt opened the scoring for Colorado at 3:45 of the first, but Aidan McDonough tied the game up less than two minutes later. Arshdeep Bains added a power play at 9:57 and the Canucks led 2-1 after one.
Wolanin with a steal, sets up Wouters who dishes to McDonough. Tie game pic.twitter.com/wGma4CmEXY— Ben Lypka (@BenLypka) October 26, 2023
Chase Wouters gave the Canucks a two-goal lead at 2:44 of the second period, but Hunt tallied again at 5:41. Marc Gatcomb put the Canucks back up by two after a nice set-up by Aatu Raty at 16:28 of the second and then goalie Arturs Silovs launched a perfect pass to Linus Karlsson who scored at 19:26 to reach the 5-2 score.
Gatcomb scores after a nice set up by Raty, 4-2 Canucks pic.twitter.com/FDExrJs67p— Ben Lypka (@BenLypka) October 26, 2023
Wouters had a two-point night for Abbotsford and Silovs made 28 saves for his second win on the season. The Canucks were outshot 30-29, with Gatcomb, McDonough and Sheldon Dries all recording four shots on goal.
The Canucks next hit the road for games against the San Diego Gulls on Friday (Oct. 27), Ontario Reign on Sunday (Oct. 29) and Coachella Valley Firebirds on Tuesday (Oct. 31).
They return home for games against the Henderson Silver Knights on Nov. 3 and 4.