Vicious Hit Leaves Slovak Player Unconscious, Bloodied (Video)

Vicious Hit Leaves Slovak Player UnconsciousThe dangers of hockey are no secret to those familiar with the game.  So even with the Olympics being touted as a showcase of some of the most skilled players from around the world, it should not have surprised many to see what occurred last night in Vancouver during a game between Slovakia and Norway.

Six minutes into the game, Slovak forward Lubos Bartecko carried the puck into the neutral zone before receiving an elbow to the head from Norwegian defenceman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen.  The hit sent Bartecko crashing to the ice, where he would smash his head after losing his helmet.  Footage shows Bartecko unconscious on the ice with his head lying in a quickly forming pool of blood.

We should warn you that this is quite a disturbing sight.

Tollefsen was assessed a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct.  The Slovaks were able to capitalize twice on that power-play.  However, Norway did manage to claw their way back into the game, and tied things up at 3-3 just before the end of the second period, but that was not enough as a Miroslav Satan goal 8:41 into the third was all Slovakia needed, holding on for a 4-3 final.

As for Bartecko, he was stretchered off the ice and taken to the Athletes Village policlinic for an MRI.  He was later diagnosed with a severe concussion as well as a head laceration.  He will not be in the line up tonight when Slovakia takes on Sweden in quarter-final action, and should they advance, they will likely do so without the services of Bartecko for the remainder of the Olympics.

Tags: 2010 vancouver, lubos bartecko, Norway, Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, Olympics, Slovakia,