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Bartecko recovering after hit

by Shawn P. Roarke
VANCOUVER -- There was good news coming out of Slovakian camp Wednesday morning.

According to Peter Bondra, the Slovakian GM, Lubos Bartecko is doing well after suffering a scary head injury in Tuesday night's qualifying-round victory against Norway.

"He's doing well," Bondra told the Olympic news service. "It was kind of scary for myself and the guys on the ice. Maybe it changed the momentum in the game, maybe not. Lubos is a tough guy. He was good after the game. He was alert. He was able to speak. He knows everything that's going on."

Bartecko was injured on an illegal hit to the head by Norwegian defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen at center ice. On the play, Bartecko was carrying the puck across his own blue line with a Norwegian backchecker pushing him toward the boards when Tollefsen cut across the ice and delivered an elbow to Bartecko's head.
Bartecko's helmet flew off on impact and his bare head struck the ice, opening a serious cut that was bleeding freely. Medical personnel were called onto the ice and Bartecko was immobilized before he was stretchered off the ice.
Olympic Gear Tollefsen was assessed a five-minute major and a match penalty for the hit and Slovakia scored twice on the ensuing power play to take a 2-0 lead in a game they won 4-3.

After being treated at Canada Hockey Place, Bartecko was transferred to the medical clinic at the Athletes Village.

Bondra did not completely rule out Bartecko from playing in Wednesday's quarterfinal against the Swedes at Canada Hockey Place, but it appears to be a long shot, at best.

"Most likely he is not going to play but we have to listen to the doctor and to Lubos and to what he says," Bondra said. "I don't think it's anything threatening to Lubos' health in the future."
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