A Westbrook High School hockey player is expected to recover from a head-first fall into the boards Wednesday during a game on the Gorham campus of the University of Southern Maine.

Senior forward Brett Goodnow was in control of the puck late in the game against Bonny Eagle High School when he was body-checked, tripped and fell into the boards, said his coach, Ryan Close.

Witnesses said that Goodnow lay motionless on the ice for about 15 minutes before he was moved out of the arena and taken by ambulance to Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Close approached the Bonny Eagle coach – Westbrook was losing 7-0 at the time – and the coaches agreed to end the game with about 90 seconds left.

“It was an unfortunate accident,” Close said. “But I don’t believe there was any malicious intent (by the Bonny Eagle player). It was an awkward check into the boards. It looked bad and it sounded bad.”

Close, who is also the school resource officer for Westbrook High, said doctors believe that Goodnow may have suffered a mild concussion.  The player was treated and released from the hospital Wednesday night, a spokesperson said.

Goodnow will have to be cleared in concussion impact testing before he can get back on the ice.

“The kid was down on the ice for some time. I’ve never seen the arena so quiet,” said Christine Rouselle, who was watching the game, part of the Yankee Ford Holiday Classic tournament. “The mood was very somber.”

Rouselle said emergency responders immobilized Goodnow, fitting him with a neck brace before putting him on a backboard.

Close said USM officials and first responders took every precaution necessary after Goodnow complained of pain in his neck vertebrae.

“He was conscious and talking,” said Close, who went to the hospital with his injured player. “He told me he can’t wait to get back on the ice.”

In addition to hockey, Goodnow plays soccer and baseball.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

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