In their first game against the Bridgeport Tigers to kick off the 2019 Calder Cup playoffs, the Hershey Bears lost blueliner Aaron Ness to a serious injury in the third period.
After Travis St. Denis put pressure on Ness from behind, Ness lost an edge and slid into the goal post and then crashed head-first into the boards, where he was seemingly knocked unconscious. He laid motionless for a few moments as he received attention from medical personnel.
The 28-year-old was stretchered off the ice and transported to Bridgeport Hospital, where he underwent further evaluation. Bears play-by-play announcer Zack Fisch later reported through Dan "Beaker" Stuck that Ness was awake and alert at the hospital and getting x-rays, according to Chocolate Hockey.
Bears radio play-by-play broadcaster @zackfisch reports that Aaron Ness is awake and alert and has been taken to the hospital for x-rays.— Chocolate Hockey (@ChocHockey) April 20, 2019
The Bears posted an update on Twitter Saturday in regards to his status, saying that he is in stable condition and is expected to be released. It's unclear when he will return to action, but it likely won't be anytime soon.
Ness, one of Hershey's six alternate captains, had 50 assists and 55 points in 71 games with the Bears in the regular season. He has three points in 18 games up in the NHL with Washington.
After the Sound Tigers tied the game following the Ness injury to force OT, Kieffer Bellows scored in double overtime to lift Bridgeport to a 3-2 win to take Game 1 of the series. St. Denis has been suspended one game for the hit, according to NHL.com's Tom Gulitti.
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