Nelson/Beaver Valley game stopped with 2:45 remaining after Hawks player taken to hospital
Hockey took a back seat with just over three minutes remaining in Saturday night's Kootenay International Junior Hockey League contest between the Nelson Leafs and Beaver Valley Nitehawks at the NDCC Arena.
That's when a collision near boards by the Leafs bench sent 17-year-old Brandon Butlin into convulsions, forcing the Nitehawks forward to be taken to local hospital by ambulance and the game to be halted with 2:45 remaining in the third period.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Brandon and his family," an emotionally shaken Beaver Valley assistant coach Jeremy Cominotto said from outside the visitor's dressing room.
Nelson was holding a 5-2 lead at the time.
Butlin had the puck near the Nelson blueline when Leaf winger Dustin Reimer hit the Hawks' forward with a clean check.
The Trail native collided with the boards and immediately went into convulsions with his legs flailing.
Training staff from both teams rushed to the injured player and without hesitation called for an ambulance.
Rink staff quickly ran to fetch the AED (automated external defibrillator) for training staff as a precaution in case the Hawks' player went into cardiac arrest.
At no time did Butlin stop breathing.
A short time later B.C. Ambulance paramedics arrived, applied a neck brace to Butlin and gave him oxygen before carefully using a spine board to put him on the stretcher for the short trek to Kootenay Lake Hospital.
"Brandon took a hard his near the boards and didn't respond," Cominotto explained when asked if he knew what happened on the ice.
"He was conscious and breathing but he was not in a good way," Cominotto added.
Colton McCarthy, who finished with two points to lead the Leafs to the victory, didn't think the hit was that bad.
"It's really sad," McCarthy said. "I saw him get hit but I thought it was a clean hit, he just fell into the boards wrong."
Linden Horswill scored twice while James Sorrey and Colton Schell added singles for Nelson.
Ryan Edwards and Butlin replied for the Hawks.
The game was called with 2:45 remaining in the game by referee Shawn Peel. The game official told The Nelson Daily after the game the decision was made in agreement by both coaches.
No word if the remaining time will be made up to complete the game at a later date.