Only three minutes into the Dallas Stars-Colorado Avalanche game on Monday night, this scary moment happened. Dallas defenseman Jamie Oleksiak took a slapshot and it was deflected by Colorado forward Paul Stastny’s skate. Referee Chris Rooney never saw the puck coming and didn’t even have a chance to react to the puck headed straight for his head.
The A.P. reported:
The puck appeared to carom off the neck of Rooney, who stayed down behind the Avalanche net. Rooney eventually got up and skated off the ice.
Sam Singleton, an NHL security representative, said Rooney ”checked out OK,” but he didn’t have any details. The Avalanche had no additional update.
It is encouraging that Rooney was able to skate off the ice under his own power, and hopefully he is going to be okay. Rooney has been a member of the NHL Officials Association since 1996. This incident left referee Justin St. Pierre as the only referee, who finished the game with two linesman.
Strangely enough this wasn’t the only incident on Monday night where a referee was struck by a puck. According to the Associated Press:
Referee Marc Joannette was hit by a clearing shot from Maple Leafs D Dion Phaneuf in the second period. He received attention from the Maple Leafs training staff and returned later in the period.
It would appear as though the Hockey Gods have it out for referees right now.