WHL Playoffs | T-birds' Thomas Hickey might not play in Game 3 vs. Tri-City
No secrets are more closely guarded than injuries during the playoffs, so there is no official word whether Thomas Hickey will play for...
Special to The Seattle Times
No secrets are more closely guarded than injuries during the playoffs, so there is no official word whether Thomas Hickey will play for the Seattle Thunderbirds tonight against the Tri-City Americans.
Hickey was conspicuous by his absence during practice on Monday as the T-birds prepared for Games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference semifinals tonight and Wednesday at KeyArena.
The Seattle captain took a knee to the head during Seattle's 7-1 victory in Game 1 in Kennewick on Friday and did not play in Saturday's 4-0 loss to the Americans in Game 2.
Hickey, the No. 4 overall selection in the 2007 NHL draft by the Los Angeles Kings, did not lose consciousness after the hit but needed help to leave the ice. He was back on the bench later in the game but did not play. He warmed up for Game 2 but was a late scratch.
"He wants to play, but we're following the protocol for those type of injuries," Seattle coach Rob Sumner said. "He was cleared to play, but we chose not to use him."
While Hickey, who has a goal and 10 points in eight playoff games, seems doubtful, the T-birds will have the services of Greg Scott. The Seattle winger was assessed a five-minute major kneeing penalty 29 seconds into Game 2 after a hit on Colton Yellow Horn.
Scott was ejected; Yellow Horn returned two minutes later and scored three goals in the game.
All major penalties are reviewed by the league to determine if there will be any supplemental discipline, and the WHL decided there would be no further penalty for Scott.
"It's not often that a guy gets suspended if the other guy suffers no ill effects," Seattle general manager Russ Farwell said. "It was a five-minute call because he laid there. He wasn't hurt. You don't play every second shift and until the last shift of the game if you are."
Scott, who scored 38 goals for Seattle in the regular season, is a key player on both the Seattle power play and penalty kill. He said he was surprised and horrified when he was tossed out of the game.
"It was more of a trip, if anything," Scott said. "He came right back, so he wasn't hurt that bad."
Scott, who has four goals and eight points in the playoffs, said the T-birds gained confidence with the split against an Americans team that finished with the WHL's best regular-season record.
"We wanted to win both, obviously, but we'll take that," Scott said.
"We played hard and well, and we feel like we have guys who can step up if Hickey doesn't play."
Ian McKenzie leads the T-birds in playoff scoring with seven goals and 13 points. Yellow Horn is the top postseason scorer for the Americans with five goals and 12 points.
|Best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals between Seattle and Tri-City; series tied 1-1.|
|1||Seattle 7, Tri-City 1|
|2||Tri-City 4, Seattle 0|
|3||Today, at KeyArena, 7:05 p.m.|
|4||Wed., at KeyArena, 7:05 p.m.|
|5||April 11, at Tri-City, 7:05 p.m.|
|*6||April 12, at KeyArena, 7:05 p.m.|
|*7||April 15, at Tri-City, 7:05 p.m.|
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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