Trail Smoke Eaters forward Corey Clifton is recovering after a scary on-ice incident sent the Matawan, N.J. native to the hospital on Friday in a game against the Langley Rivermen, which forced the match to be suspended.
Clifton took an errant puck to the face, causing him to collapse and go into convulsions. Clifton was treated for almost 45 minutes on the ice, before being transferred to the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital.
The Smokies player was treated and released from hospital the next day. He even attended Saturday’s game against the Chilliwack Chiefs and was introduced before the game where he waved to fans from the Smoke Eaters gate, much to the relief of the Smoke Eaters faithful.
“For what happened in the building Friday night, Corey Clifton is doing great,” said Smoke Eaters head coach and GM Jeff Tambellini. “Having him in the building before the game started was great for all of us. It’s so hard to see a young man go through an experience event like that, such a traumatic event right by our bench.
“I think it was as great of an outcome as we could have hoped for after something like that happens, and just a thank you to all our volunteers and medical staff to make sure he got off the ice safe.”
Tests from a CT scan were negative, added Tambellini, and the Smokies will monitor Clifton’s progress for a week or two before getting him back into action.
The game was called with 11:32 remaining and will go down as a 4-4 tie in the BCHL standings.