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2013 Memorial Cup: Portland Winterhawks’ Taylor Leier hit in head by Saskatoon Blades’ Dalton Thrower, no penalty called (VIDEO)

SASKATOON, Sask. — The story of the Saskatoon Blades-Portland Winterhawks game was how Dalton Thrower got away with without a penalty for a high hit on Taylor Leier.

In the first period, Leier carried the puck into the Blades' zone. As he tried to cut inside, Thrower evidently caught him with his elbow, felling Leier, whose head struck the ice. The Winterhawks left wing was cut and needed assistance from a trainer and a teammate to reach the bench. The Philadelphia Flyers draft pick could miss the rest of the tournament.

Ninety-five per cent of the time, that would be a penalty in most leagues. In junior hockey, that's typically a major and a game misconduct. The general consensus was that referee Jean-Philippe Sylvain, the closest offical to the play, missed the call.

"The video coverage that I have, it looked like the Leier boy was cutting to the middle and Dalton hit him in the chest area and down he went," Blades coach-GM Lorne Molleken said. "It's an unfortunate situation because he's a quality player and a quality young man.

"I'm sure that they will look at it, yes."

Naturally, Portland coach Travis Green had a different interpretation.

"It would be pretty hard to be in the position he [Thrower] was in and be hitting in the shoulder," Winterhawks coach Travis Green said. "It's pretty obvious where the shot comes, in the head. And there was a jump [element] to it as well. The video's pretty obvious. We lost one of our better players to a hit that I thought should have been a major."

Leier was well enough to tweet after the game.

All plays are subject to a review by the tournament's disciplinary committee. During the 2011 tournament in Mississauga, Kootenay Ice captain Brayden McNabb felled the Owen Sound Attack's Joey Hishon with an elbow to head. McNabb was suspended one game; Hishon missed nearly two seasons.

At the very least, it was a play with an unfortunate result. It definitely looks like Thrower went over the line.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to btnblog@yahoo.ca (video: Sportsnet).

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