Niagara IceDogs, behind Tucker Tynan in goal, win first OHL game in 576 days

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Published October 7, 2021 at 9:55 pm

Niagara IceDogs goalie Tucker Tynan. (OHL Images)

Tucker Tynan was worth the wait in goal for the Niagara IceDogs.

The 19-year-old goalie made 25 saves on Thursday (Oct. 7) to earn the win in his first official Ontario Hockey League game since suffering a life-threatening thigh laceration on the ice in a game 22 months ago, Bolstered, and perhaps inspired by Tynan, the IceDogs led almost wire-to-wire in a 4-1 opening-night win against the Barrie Colts.

Tynan was playing in his first regular-season game in 665 days due to the grisly injury and the COVID-19 pandemic that led to the OHL scrubbing the 2020-21 season. The IceDogs themselves were hitting the ice for the real thing for the first time in 576 days.

Aidan Castle, a 17-year-old rookie from Mississauga, broke the seal on the contest with an opening goal just 5:11 into the contest at Sadlon Arena. Pano Famis, whom Niagara selected No. 2 overall in the OHL priority selection in 2020, had two points (1G-1A) in his belated OHL debut. Juan Copeland and Danil Gushchin also scored for Niagara.

Colorado Avalanche first-round choice Oskar Olausson spoiled the shutout bid when he scored for Barrie with 9:25 left in the third period.

On Dec. 12, 2019, Tynan was tending goal for Niagara during a home game in St. Catharines against the London Knights when he suffered a severe cut to the thigh from a skate blade. General manager Joey Burke said the following day that the quick, trained reactions from both teams’ training staffs and on-ice personnel probably saved the teenager’s life.

Tynan needed emergency surgery and spent four days in the hospital before returning home to Chicago to recuperate and be with his family.

The IceDogs will host the Oshawa Generals in their home opener at the Meridian Centre on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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