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Greg Wyshynski

Slovakia's Bartecko leaves on stretcher after hitting head on ice

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- An absolutely ghastly scene occurred at 6:01 of the first period of Slovakia's qualifying round game against Norway, with Slovakian forward Lubos Bartecko taking an elbow from defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, losing his helmet as he fell and then hitting his head on the ice.

Blood began pooling under his head, and Bartecko was motionless. Training staff came out first; medical staff some time later.

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After about 10 minutes, and after a stack of towels was placed under Bartecko's head, he was put on a board and lifted into a stretcher, leaving the ice. Workers when used shovels to shave off the blood-stained ice before play resumed.

Tollefsen received 25 minutes in penalties, including a match penalty for "Checking to the Head and Neck Area" and a five-minute major during which Michal Handzus and Marian Gaborik scored for Slovakia. It was a reprehensible head shot from the recent Detroit Red Wings acquisition.

We'll update with more information on this when we receive it.

UPDATE: From the L.A. Times:

"He has a head injury, a concussion. He's been stitched up, but he should be OK," Slovakia spokesman Peter Dobias told The Associated Press.

"Dobias initially said Bartecko would be treated at Canada Hockey Place, but he later was taken to a clinic at the athletes' village. Team officials said his condition was stable.

Good to hear ... one of the nastiest plays of the season.

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