London Knights’ starting goalie Anthony Stolarz will be be sidelined longer than first believed.
On Jan. 17, Stolarz left the ice early with a serious leg injury that resulted in 55 stitches and two nights in hospital. It was announced he would be sidelined four weeks.
Now, more than three weeks later, Stolarz is still sporting a plastic walking cast.
Knights’ general manager Mark Hunter said it will be two more weeks before Stolarz is ready.
“He’s riding the bike, so we don’t want to hurry it either. Don’t want him to take a setback,” Hunter said.
Knights goalie coach Bill Dark was a little less definitive on when the starter will return.
“Until he’s on the ice, we don’t know (when he will return),” Dark said before Sunday afternoon’s game against Plymouth Whalers.
Meanwhile, backup Jake Patterson started his ninth straight filling in for Stolarz, but was also yanked for the second game in a row as he stopped only eight of 11 shots in a period and a half.
With third-stringer Justin Tugwell finishing up for the second consecutive game, the Knights rallied to beat the Whalers 5-4 before 8,999 spectators at Budweiser Gardens.
On Saturday night, Patterson stopped only 12 of 18 shots as the Knights lost 7-2 to the Erie Otters. He was removed after 30 minutes and Tugwell stopped 14 of 15 the rest of the way.
“We know we can play better than that as a team as whole,” Hunter said. “Everybody looks at Patty. It’s not just Patty. It’s the team. Patty can play better. The defence can play better and the forwards can play better.”
Josh Anderson, with his 20th, Owen Macdonald, with his first of the season, CJ Yakimowicz, with the first of his career, Brady Austin and Chris Tierney scored for the Knights on Sunday.
Francesco Vilardi, Ryan Hartman, Victor Crus Rydberg and Connor Chatham scored for the Whalers.
The Knights now have a home-and-home series with Sarnia Sting this week, Thursday in Sarnia and Friday in London.
On Saturday night, Connor Brown, with two, Dane Fox, with his 55th, Joel Wigle, Michael Curtis, Adam Pelech and Andre Purakovsky scored for the Otters.
Defencemen Alex Basso and Austin scored for the Knights.