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PLAYOFFS

Windsor Spitfires goalie explains ditching team mid-game 0

QMI AGENCY

Dalen Kuchmey walked out on the OHL's Windsor Spitfires this week. (QMI Agency)

Dalen Kuchmey walked out on the OHL's Windsor Spitfires this week. (QMI Agency)

An OHL goalie who gave himself the hook during a critical playoff game before leaving a Windsor arena mid-game says this season “ruined” hockey for him.

In an incident that made national headlines Wednesday, Spitfires’ No. 2 goalie Dalen Kuchmey ditched his gear and ditched his team all before the start of the third period, driving away from the arena amid a 10-2 thrashing from the London Knights during the third game of an opening-round OHL series.

"He left the ice and the rink before the (second) period was over,” Spitfires head coach Bob Boughner confirmed to the Canadian Press following the game. “He quit on our team and he quit on his teammates."

The “quitter” spoke up later in the day, explaining to a local paper why he did what he did.

“They embarrassed me in front of my fans (Tuesday), especially in the playoffs,” Kuchmey told the Windsor Star. “He (Boughner) could have put Fotinos in to let the bleeding stop. He knows I wasn’t having a good game and could have recognized it.”

But Fotinos, the club’s normal No. 1 netminder, was ill on the bench, according to his coach, who said he asked Fotinos if he could play when the score was 4-0.

"He said, 'if you need me, great, but I don't feel good at all,’ the Spitfires coach explained to reporters after the game.

Boughner said he has reached out to his embattled goalie.

“I thank the staff for finally recognizing me, but this season was not fun for me,” Kuchmey said. “It’s not what I dreamed of or thought it would be.

“I didn’t have a good experience. I’ve been thinking about this for a month and not getting pulled (Tuesday) triggered it.”

Game 4 of the series goes Thursday night in Windsor, likely without Kuchmey.

The Knights currently hold a 3-0 series lead.

 

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