Thrashers' Goalie Collapses in Opener vs. Caps

By Jim Iovino
|  Friday, Oct 8, 2010  |  Updated 9:51 PM EDT
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Thrashers' Goalie Collapses in Opener vs. Caps

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ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 21: Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec #31 of the Atlanta Thrashers against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the preseason opener at Phillips Arena on September 21, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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Atlanta goaltender Ondrej Pavelec collapsed just over two minutes into the season-opening game against the Capitals Friday night and was taken off the ice on a stretcher.

The 23-year-old netminder was transported to a local hospital in an unknown condition.

The incident happened at about the 2:25 mark into the first period. During a stoppage of play at the other end of the ice, Pavelec bent over his pads and then collapsed onto his back in front of his crease.

Trainers and doctors quickly came to check on him. He was motionless on the ice for about five to 10 minutes before being placed on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital.  Once play resumed, the Capitals scored a goal against his backup, Chris Mason. The goal by Brooks Laich came about a minute after play resumed.

The first official word from the Thrashers was that Pavelec "lost consciousness."

Former NHLer and SportsNet.ca analyst Nick Kypreos said on Twitter at about 9:15 p.m.:  "Latest update I've received ... is good. I heard he's conscious and vital signs now appear to be normal."

Thrashers GM Rick Dudley told the Associated Press during the second intermission that Pavelec was awake and in stable condition.

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