Hockey: Guelph goalie Couture recovering from broken back

OUA West hockey followers might have only heard scattered details bout goalie Kevin Couture's absence from Guelph's lineup since the start of the New Year.

Greg Layson has an update on the off-ice injury the former OHLer was involved in on Dec. 24:
"Couture’s brother was leading the three-sled convoy atop his own snowmobile. A cousin and passenger followed behind on another. And Couture had his cousin’s girlfriend riding with him in the middle.

"Couture made a turn. His skis caught a rut — 'or something in the ground.' His snowmobile flipped. His cousin’s girlfriend was tossed into a nearby snow bank. Couture was thrown violently into a tree.

" 'Next thing I knew, I was waking up in a hospital,' he said. 'I just wanted to make sure my passenger was all right.”

"She was — aside from a few bumps and bruises.

" 'The call on Christmas Eve was very scary,' Guelph coach Shawn Camp said. 'It’s every coach’s nightmare to know a player's been seriously injured.' "

Couture awoke with a concussion, sprained ankle, fractured sternum (pushed four millimetres out of place) and two fractured vertebrae.
Couture was only able to play in three games during the first half, all losses. A guessing game is wondering how much better — if any? — Guelph would be had Couture played all season. He's a successful OHLer with some pro experience, while current No. 1 goalie Scott Van Bommel's best games came with the Junior B Guelph Dominators. The Gryphons (8-9-4) have a seven-game point streak that has pushed them up to sixth in the OUA West, although that hasn't come against the more formidable competition in the division. There should be some credit for not getting hung up on who's not there.

Meantime, one wishes Couture all the best once he can get started on the road to recovery and playing hockey again.

Gryphons goalie on the mend after Christmas Eve accident (Greg Layson, Guelph Mercury)
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