Anchorage — Well, Jordan Kremyr got the puck out of his zone.
Problem was, it was likely for the last time this hockey season.
Kremyr, the Alaska Aces' checking-line winger and outstanding penalty killer, suffered a broken left wrist last Friday night in the club's penultimate regular-season ECHL game. He is scheduled to undergo surgery Friday morning -- the Aces open their best-of-7, Kelly Cup playoff series with San Francisco that night at Sullivan Arena -- and likely will miss the postseason, which lasts a maximum of eight weeks.
"Not the way I wanted to start opening day of the playoffs,'' Kremyr said with a wry smile and a shake of his head.
Kremyr watched his team practice at Dempsey Anderson Arena on Tuesday morning, relegated to the bleachers, where he sat with his left arm in a sling, his pre-surgery paperwork spread before him.
"It's a mental battle,'' Kremyr said. "My mind-set was ready for playoffs, and now all I can do is try to support my teammates.''
The second-year pro, who shoots left, was clearing the puck from the Aces' zone along the boards in a game at Ontario when his left glove caught on the boards just as he was boarded from behind by Ontario's Brady Calla, who received a minor penalty.
"I knew I was getting angled off by one of their guys,'' Kremyr recalled. "I needed to get the puck out, and I knew I needed to take a hit to make a play. My hand caught on the boards, and I knew right away it was bad.
"Everyone was getting excited for playoffs. We achieved our goal -- first place in the league. Then this.''
Kremyr last season as a rookie put up 14-10--24 totals in 52 games. He got off to a slow start this season -- just two assists in his first 13 games -- before a concussion shelved him for 24 games, one-third of the ECHL's regular season.
Once Kremyr returned to the lineup, he struggled to find his form, but coach Rob Murray had been championing his play of late. Kremyr didn't score a goal in his last 15 games -- he had six assists in that span to give him 4-14--18 totals in 45 games this season -- but proved instrumental in helping the Aces finish first in the league in penalty killing.
Now, he could be shelved until next season.
"All I can do is try to stay positive, take something from it, and come back stronger and better,'' Kremyr said.
Find Doyle Woody's blog at adn.com/hockeyblog or call him at 257-4335.