Photo Credit: Sarah Fuqua
In the case of Mike Liambas, history does give second chances.
On Oct. 31, 2009, Liambas, then in his third season with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League, took the ice for a normal Friday night regular season game against the Kitchener Rangers. Midway through the second period, as the Rangers held on to a 2-0 lead against the Otters, Erie dumped the puck into Kitchener’s zone and tried to get fresh legs on the ice.
Ben Fanelli, the closest player near the action, chased down the puck and went to corral it behind the goaltender. As he quickly cleared the puck from behind the net, Liambas lined up a hit and delivered. What followed can only be best described as a blur. Liambas was quickly ushered off the ice by the officials while Fanelli lay motionless for several minutes as paramedics carefully loaded him on a stretched and airlifted him to Hamilton General Hospital. While Fanelli would later make a full recovery, the injuries sustained that nigh...