Despite a 3-2 overtime victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday night, the mood was grim around the Prince Albert Raiders after 20-year-old forward Regan Nagy left the game late in the third period with a lower body injury.
The Ogema, Sask. native found himself tangled up with a Tigers defenceman in the corner and fell to the ice awkwardly before needing assistance off the ice.
Ahead of Sunday’s game against the Calgary Hitmen, Marc Habscheid couldn’t provide much of an update.
“It’s not great, that’s for sure, but we don’t’ have a diagnosis right now so I really can’t say too much,” said the Raiders’ bench boss. “We won the game, everybody was excited about that, but it was pretty subdued after the game, that’s for sure.”
Nagy found his groove on a line with Jordy Stallard and Curtis Miske, producing six points in his last four games prior to the injury. The 20-year-old was acquired by the Raiders ahead of this year’s trade deadline from the Victoria Royals, and was looking to have a successful conclusion to his junior career in Prince Albert.
There were fears the injury could be the end of the season, and therefore the end of a junior career for Nagy.
Fast forward to Thursday and the mood had changed considerably, as further testing showed no significant damage to the injured area, suggesting Nagy’s return to the lineup would be relatively soon.
“I think we dodged a bullet there. He was X-Rayed, MRI’d, and they all came back clear,” Habscheid said. “It seemed there was a lot of trauma in that area, but he seems to have dodged a bullet and he’s pretty much day-to-day. As soon as he can play, he can play.”
Although there is still no timetable set for his return, Nagy was relieved to receive some positive news this week.
“I’m feeling a lot better, just taking care of it and doing as much as I can to make sure it feels better to try to get back on the ice as soon as I can. Hopefully I can keep progressing the way I am,” Nagy said.
“I was kind of thinking the worst there, which is probably something I shouldn’t have been doing. After finding out what happened, all the MRI results and stuff like that, it’s been pretty good. I’m excited that it’s not as bad as we thought it was, and I’m just looking forward to getting back on the ice.”
Here’s hoping it’s a speedy recovery and we see Regan back in the green and gold before long.
Fonstad finds the net
Congratulations to Raider forward Cole Fonstad on his goal at Thursday night’s Sherwin-Williams NHL/CHL Top Prospects Game in Guelph, ON.
As dug up by paNOW’s Jeff D’Andrea, Fonstad was the first Raider to score in the game since Greg Watson back in 2001. Watson played 230 games with the Raiders from 1998-2003 before moving on to the minor professional ranks in the United States and later in Europe.
Fonstad is expected to be back in Prince Albert in time for Friday night’s game against Prince George.
‘Blizzard of Ozz’ shines in debut
What a day for Raider prospect Ozzy Wiesblatt in Calgary on Sunday.
After Nagy went down in Medicine Hat the night before, the Raiders called on the 15-year-old Calgary native to make his WHL debut at the Saddledome against the Hitmen. Wiesblatt skated a regular shift with Carson Miller and Eric Pearce throughout the game and was able to find the back of the net in the third period, scoring his first-ever WHL goal.
“He’s quick, you can tell he’s a skilled guy, and he’s strong. It was exciting for him, in his hometown, his first game getting a goal,” Marc Habscheid said. “A lot of good things went his way, and we’re happy for him. He helped our group.”
Wiesblatt was selected in the second round, 25th overall of the 2017 bantam draft. In 26 games with the Calgary Midget AAA Buffaloes, the first-year forward has 15 goals and 16 assists for 31 points.
His older brother Orca is in his first year with the Hitmen, but was out of the lineup due to injury on Sunday.
While the Raiders had a successful weekend picking up five points in three games, the Saskatoon Blades beat Regina on Saturday before falling to Moose Jaw Sunday and the Pats on Wednesday.
As a result, the Raiders now sit four points back of the Blades for the final playoff spot in the East Division with two games in hand. Like Prince Albert, Saskatoon faces Prince George and Edmonton this weekend.
On Twitter: @Trevor_Redden
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