Frontenacs defender recovers from game injury – Kingston News

Frontenacs defender recovers from game injury – Kingston News

Kingston Frontenacs defenseman Maleek McGowan (#11), originally from Toronto, was badly injured by the blade of a North Bay Battalion player slicing through an artery and two tendons in his wrist during the game on Friday 2. December 2022 at Leon’s Center. McGowan has since undergone surgery. Photo via Kingston Frontenacs.

In one of the more frightening incidents in the 50-year history of the Kingston junior hockey franchise, Kingston Frontenacs defenseman Maleek McGowan was badly injured when he collided with North Bay Battalion defenseman Paul Christopoulos

The incident occurred early in the third period of the game on Friday 2. December 2022. McGowan landed a solid bodycheck on Christopoulos, which was reversed on the play. As a result of the hit, Christopoulos’ right skate makes contact with McGowan’s left wrist. McGowan suffered a severed artery and two separate tendons as a result. It was immediately apparent that McGowan had sustained a serious injury.

Had it not been for the immediate response and action of Frontenac Athletic Therapist Chris Nelson and other first responders on the team’s home ice at Leon’s Centre, the outcome could have been disastrous.

Nelson, team doctors and paramedics stabilized McGowan in Kingston’s training room. He was then taken to Kingston General Hospital (KGH).

In what can only be described as one of the loudest crowds of the season, fans were treated to a very entertaining game between the Frontenacs and the Battalion. However, the raucous atmosphere died down as both teams and officials debated whether to continue playing. After the decision was made to continue, Kingston head coach Luca Caputi did an outstanding job of getting his players to regain their composure and continue.

The intensity that had been very present was missing after McGowan was taken off the ice. Kingston had battled back from a 3-0 deficit to make it 3-2 before giving up an empty net goal with two seconds left in the game. The Frontenacs ended the night with a 4-3 loss to the Battalion.

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Meanwhile, McGowan underwent successful surgery to repair the artery and tendon and was released from hospital in the early hours of Saturday 3 December 2022. He was on the field later that morning to meet his teammates as they were due to train.

McGowan was also in attendance on Sunday afternoon when the Frontenacs took on the Flint Firebirds at the Leon’s Centre. There, the energy that left the field with McGowan on Friday night returned as the defender received a standing ovation from those in attendance.

“We would like to thank our training and medical staff led by Chris Nelson and Dr. Jennifer Hacking, the North Bay Battalion training staff, on-site paramedics, Leon’s Center staff and the medical team at Kingston Health Sciences Center (KGH) for their immediate attention while treating and caring for Maleek McGowan,” the Frontenacs said in a press release on Sunday, December 4, 2022.

“He is in stable condition, safe and on the mend … We wish Maleek all the best in his recovery.”

The Frontenacs travel to Niagara, Erie and Hamilton this coming weekend before returning home to host their division rival, the Hamilton Bulldogs, on Friday the 16th. December 2022.

For more information on the Kingston Frontenacs, recaps of this past weekend’s games, and a complete schedule of upcoming games, visit the Kingston Frontenacs website.

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