Over in the WCHA this weekend, Minnesota and Minnesota State played a hard-fought, incredibly even first-round series. Every game went to overtime, and the Friday and Sunday games went to double OT. But in the middle of the second period of Sunday's game, hockey took a back seat.
Minnesota fourth-line forward Tom Pohl took an awkward hit, a high elbow, from Minnesota State's Jason Wiley. If it had happened along the high glass, it would've been two minutes in the box; no big deal. But Pohl and Wiley were up alongside the Minnesota bench. Pohl's helmet slipped off, his head slammed into the rail at the top of the dasher, and Pohl collapsed to the ice, bleeding.
The medical staff in Mankato reacted immediately to the scene, and play stopped for 13 minutes while they attended to Pohl, strapped him to a backboard, and wheeled him to a waiting ambulance. Everyone was worried about some sort of a spinal injury, since Pohl didn't seem to be moving his legs. All the broadcast team had to give out was that Pohl was conscious and talking, and that he was being treated for a broken nose and a cut on his face.
Pohl was taken to a Mankato hospital, and from there he was airlifted to the Mayo Clinic. He underwent surgery to stop bleeding in his brain and to stabilize his fractured skull. He remains in intensive care. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Gophers and the Pohl family.
(One more thing: Mankato PA crew, you suck. I was watching this live, and you played music over this horrible scene. What, are Coldplay's "Clocks" and "Speed of Sound" somehow appropriate for this in some non-ironic way? FAIL.)