Island defender Johnny Puitch received a late and high blow from Panthers defender Mike Matheson shortly in the second period on Saturday evening and they did not return to the rest of the match.
Coach Barry Trots did not have an immediate update on Boychuk, but he handled the penalty, which was reduced from a five-minute specialty to a two-minute minor after being reviewed by the referees.
“Trust me, as I said to the referees, I totally respect them, their job, because we as coaches have to do it during stage 3 and shocks,” Trotz said in a phone call with my fellow carrots 2. One win. “When I looked at her, at first, Johnny’s head was low, and she thought he got it well with a hit on his head.
“They looked at it and revised it, and I trust in their judgment, and I will not agree with that because I want to protect my players. But I thought it was a border.”
In the subsequent power play, Islanders benefited from a 2-0 climb as Anthony Beauvelier found the back of the net at 3:39 a.m. from the second period.
“You hate to see a man come down and then when you have a chance in favor of the man, you want to benefit from him, the team, and the momentum,” said Brooke Nelson, who got five high hits in the team. “At the moment, especially with all the scenarios we go through, time out and back, the special teams will play a big role.”
With Boychuk not likely to have Game 2 on Tuesday, islanders turn to a deep set of defenders. The defensive pairing between veteran Andy Green and Noah Dobson, who received great acclaim throughout the training camp, were healthy scratches, as well as defenders Thomas Hickey and Sebastian Oho.
Island residents now have two days to take ice for game 2 of gameplay series.
“We’ll reassess us, we’ll take a look at the game, take a step back and look at the game a little differently from the bench and try to dissect,” Trotz said. “One or two amendments, there are two things that I know we can improve on now and hopefully we can add them to our game.”
There are 10 current island residents who also faced leopards in the first round of the 2016 qualifiers.
Boychuk, Josh Bailey, Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck, Hickey, Nick Leddy, Matt Martin, Brock Nelson, Ryan Pulock and Thomas Greiss were part of the Islanders team that defeated Florida in six games.