By Sean Gallagher
"Call an ambulance!"
The Saturday night game in Toronto was eventful, to say the least. Spurred on by the success enjoyed in taking physical play to the opponent, the Answer Man's team started bodychecking early Saturday night. Led by the fast and physical play of the AM, the St. Louisans quickly staked out a 3-1 lead.
Early in the third, the score was 4-2, but the game had been completely controlled by the good guys. Fearing an elimination from the tournament, the Chicago team started going for cheap shots and increased the stickwork.
With nine minutes remaining in the game, all in attendance witnessed the one thing you never want to see live: a cheap-shot resulted in a man down for St. Louis. Unbelievable but true, a blindsided blatant attempt to injure missed our Answer Man... mostly.
Connecting with just the left one-third of the AM, the worst occurred. AM was down on the ice and after one attempt to regain his feet, he laid back down on the ice. His first-to-arrive teammate confirmed the worst, yelling to the bench, "go call an ambulance. His arm is broken."
As his entire team emptied the bench to race to him, it was obvious to everyone in the building: that arm doesn't look right. The AM later told me, "my brain said that my hand was on my thigh, When I looked at it, I was pointing at the corner."
Needless to say that after the ambulance arrived and the game resumed, fans in Toronto were packed into the rink to see what would happen. In a tournament like this, word passes quickly when someone gets hurt. The fans were not disappointed, as AM's team grabbed the banner and continued to march. Nine minutes later they had a 7-3 victory, one decisive win in a fightÂ and all the shit-talking cred in the building.
I have to say that nothing seemed more satisfying than when the fighters were ejected and AM's teammate got to call scoreboard, watch his fight opponent try to put his helmet back on and got to tell one of their fans that she ought to get the dick out of her mouth before she tries to talk to him. That guy careered itÂ and I think when even the casual fans are laughing, you win.
Unfortunately for St. Louis, despite playing their best hockey of the tournament, they needed help to get into the championship round. While several of the players went to help the paramedics load the AM into their vehicle, several more went to the other rink to watch the end of the game that would determine their ability to play on.
Within minutes we had all our answers: the arm was officially broken, the AM's jersey was officially cut into ribbons by medical personnel, and the 'Cats did not get the help they needed. Adding elimination to injury, the Philadelphia team that the AM's team had played poorly against on Friday came back to kill them a second time by rolling over a listless (and winless) team from Cleveland.
Â Stupid Cleveland.