Eight days after he collapsed behind the bench in the last moments of a game in Barrie, Hamilton Bulldogs head coach Dave Matsos says he “feels really good.”
Matsos addressed the media during the first intermission of Sunday’s home opener at FirstOntario Centre and said tests are still being conducted to determine what exactly happened to him on Sept. 22.
Matsos, 44, was not on the bench but was in the arena when the Bulldogs unfurled their 2017-18 Ontario Hockey League championship banner before their game against the Ottawa 67’s on Sunday afternoon, saying that he “wasn’t going to miss this one.”
However, the 67’s ruined the party when Tye Felhaber scored nine seconds into overtime as Ottawa edged Hamilton 4-3.
Matsos said the last thing he remembered before going down was watching Isaac Nurse score an empty net goal to double Hamilton’s lead to 4-2 over the Colts with 19.8 seconds left in regulation. He said the next thing he recalled, about 15 minutes later, was being tended to by paramedics who were on site at the Molson Centre.
After a three day stay in hospital Matsos returned to Hamilton to address the players and staff. Matsos said he didn’t feel well in the week leading up to the game against Barrie. “It was a little bit of a tough week for me, with a stomach flu. I didn’t really have much of an appetite, couldn’t keep much down and it just kinda caught up to me.”
He also admitted to bypassing breakfast and lunch some days and “being at the rink at 4:30 in the morning” as he prepared for Hamilton’s games against the North Bay Battalion and Barrie Colts. “Finally my body pretty much had enough,” added Matsos.
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Matsos said if all goes well, he’s hoping to return to the Bulldogs bench for Hamilton’s upcoming games this weekend against Oshawa, Peterborough and Windsor.
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