Thrower KO’s Leier with scary Memorial Cup hit

Portland Winterhawks left winger Taylor Leier is looked at after taking a huge hit from Saskatoon Blades' Dalton Thrower during MasterCard Memorial Cup action. (CP/Liam Richards)

Saskatoon Blades defenceman Dalton Thrower absolutely crushed Portland Winterhawks forward Taylor Leier with a questionable hit in a MasterCard Memorial Cup round robin matchup Wednesday.

As Leier entered the Blades’ zone, he looked to cut into the middle of the ice with the puck, but Thrower followed through on a hit that sent Leier crashing face first to the ice.

Thrower’s shoulder made contact with Leier’s head but Thrower, a second-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens (51st overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft, was not penalized on the play.

Winterhawks coach Travis Green was seen on the bench yelling at the referees, “Wake the (expletive) up,” because there was no call.

Leier, a fourth-round pick (117th overall) of the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2012 NHL Draft, was motionless on the ice for a moment before the team’s trainer and Winterhawks teammate Chase De Leo assisted him off the ice.

The 19-year-old, who had 62 points in 64 regular season games, appeared wobbly and disoriented as he was helped to the dressing room.

The National Hockey League and its affiliate junior leagues have made a concerted effort to decrease the number of headshots, so many who were watching the game were surprised there was no call on the play.

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