By Dan Sernoffsky
Daily News Sportswriter
Lebanon Daily News
HERSHEY, Pa. – There was no question that Hershey’s Joey Tenute, who played for the South Carolina Stingrays and was named ECHL Rookie of the Year in 2004-05, was in pain when he made his way off the ice early in the third period of Friday’s game against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Tenute, who was voted to the ECHL Rookie Team and Second Team All-ECHL as well as being selected to the ECHL All-Star Game, was injured when he was slammed into the boards by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s J.F. Jacques. He was helped to the dressing room and didn’t return to the game the Bears eventually won in the second overtime. That the injury was serious was unquestioned, and speculation about the injury continued Saturday night when he was listed as an injury scratch for Saturday’s game in Wilkes-Barre.
Yesterday, the Bears announced just how severe the injury was.
Tenute suffered a broken rib and a punctured lung and will be out for the remainder of the playoffs.
Immediately following Friday’s game, the Bears sent tapes of the hit to the American Hockey League offices in an appeal for supplemental discipline. Referee David Banfield made no call on the play in the game, but the AHL responded by assessing Jacques a five-minute major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct penalty. The league’s assessment of the penalty, however, had no bearing on the game, nor did it result in any carry-over penalty. Jacques played in Saturday’s game.
“Right now, he’s hurt, and I don’t see him coming back,” said Hershey coach Bruce Boudreau, who coached Mississippi to the Kelly Cup Championship in 1999, in talking about Tenute following Saturday’s game. “It was a dirty hit, but what could we do? There was supplemental discipline, they added a game misconduct and a five-minute major to Jacques, which doesn’t really help us much.”
Boudreau’s anger had not subsided yesterday morning when the full extent of Tenute’s injuries was made public.
“It’s really bad news,” said Boudreau, “but what are you going to do? I’ve already stated my opinion to the league about that. It is what it is. The Detroit Red Wings lost Mathieu Schneider, a very valuable player. The good teams, you don’t move on, you play for them.”
For now, as he prepares his team for tomorrow’s game against the Penguins, Boudreau’s biggest concern for Tenute is for his future.
“The biggest thing is about his health,” Boudreau said. “Hopefully by training camp next year he’s ready to play. That’s the key. When they start taking punctured lung and things like that, fractured ribs are bad enough, but when you start getting into those organs, you pay a little more attention.”
In his second season with the Bears, Tenute finished second on the team in scoring with 28 goals and 68 points during the regular season, his second straight 20-goal season. He had four goals in Hershey’s first six playoff games prior to being injured.