Buzzing The Net

Windsor Spitfires goalie Dalen Kuchmey leaves arena during OHL playoff game after allowing 8 goals

Neate Sager
Buzzing The Net

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Kuchmey made the Spitfires this season as a 19-year-old rookie (OHL Images)

One might say Dalen Kuchmey Spit the bit. Or that he pulled a Patrick Roy, only without having a couple Stanley Cup rings and Vezina Trophys to back it up.

On Tuesday, the Windsor Spitfires goalie got his first Ontario Hockey League playoff start, and unless the team's management is incredibly forgiving, it might be his last. The London Knights routed Windsor easily, eventually winning 10-2. Kuchmey, who provided a feel-good story at the start of the season when he made the Spitfires as a 19-year-old rookie, was in net for the first eight Knights goal. After the eighth, he pulled himself from the game, and as Spitfires coach Bob Boughner confirmed afterward, left the WFCU Centre before the end of the second period.

From TV Cogeco Ontario's Angelo Aversa (@AJaversa85):

The reason Kuchmey was left in, according to the Spitfires, was that No. 1 goalie Alex Fotinos was feeling ill. From the Windsor Star's Jim Parker (@winstarparker):

Every goalie in junior hockey is going to be hung out to dry by his team at some point, and the reality is the only acceptable response sometimes is to stick it out. The game was a farce, with London scoring three short-handed goals and building an 8-1 lead despite Windsor receiving the game's first seven power plays (the Spitfires lost two of their best defencemen to season-ending injuries, and simply haven't been able to contain the Memorial Cup host Knights).

One can only presume what emotions welled up inside Kuchmey. A hometown Windsor native, the 19-year-old began the year at the top of the Spitfires depth chart before the club swung a pair of goalie trades and added 18-year-old Alex Fotinos, a former high draft pick of the Barrie Colts. To go from that promising start to his season to taking it on the chin, well, one can understand why his flight response would kick in. As strange as the story is, as much as people might get a laugh out of it, that has to be acknowledged.

During the 2007 OHL playoffs, forward Bobby Hughes got so frustrated after his Kingston Frontenacs blew a third-period lead against the Oshawa Generals, and didn't join his team for the overtime. So it's not unprecedented for a teenaged major junior player to snap in a tense situation, but there's no amount of wrongs that make it right.

In the short run, the Spitfires might need to call up a goalie for a do-or-done Game 4 on Thursday. In the long run, for his sake Kuchmey will hopefully get some guidance with figuring out his options when anger becomes overwhelming. And hopefully people see each of those sides.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.

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