SHAWINIGAN, Que. - Drummondville Voltigeurs star Chris DiDomenico suffered a broken thigh bone in his left leg in a harrowing crash into the boards during a playoff game and will be out of action indefinitely.
The 20-year-old forward was hurt five minutes into the Voltigeurs' 5-4 victory over the Cataractes in Shawinigan on Tuesday night in Game 3 of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League final series.
A team spokesman said he was treated and had the leg put in a cast at a hospital in nearby Trois-Rivieres and was back home by Wednesday morning.
"DiDomenico is out for a long time," coach Guy Boucher said on the team's website. "It was a very painful injury."
The Toronto Maple Leafs prospect was skating hard after a puck in the Shawinigan zone when he was bumped by Adam Bourque-Leblanc and fell heavily, legs-first, into the end boards. He lay in agony on the ice for a several minutes before he was carried off on a stretcher.
The Voltigeurs rallied to win the game and take a 2-1 led in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 was scheduled for Wednesday night in Shawinigan.
"He's been our best player for the last two months," added Boucher. "He was dominant on attack and phenomenal on defence. Our other players had to step up, but there's no question we lost a big piece of our team."
Yannick Riendeau, who had four points for the Volts, said the team regrouped quickly after the injury and then "we pushed 100 times harder because we wanted to win for him."
The winner of the series goes to the MasterCard Memorial Cup beginning May 15 in Rimouski, Que.
The six-foot, 165-pound DiDomenico had four goals and 29 assists in 15 playoff games this season.
He joined the Volts in a trade from the Saint John Sea Dogs in January after helping Canada win gold at the world junior championships.
DiDomenico was drafted in the sixth round by Toronto in 2007. The Woodbridge, Ont., native signed a three-year contract with the Leafs on March 9.