Boston, Mass. -- Boston University head coach David Quinn was putting his team through the paces a day ahead of its Frozen Fenway game against Maine. On a four-game losing streak, Quinn was running an intense practice, the most rigorous of any of the seven other practices held on the Fenway ice.
But with Quinn and BU looking to stop the slide, maybe the most troubling sight was that of Matt Grzelcyk, dressed in street clothes and with his arm in a sling on the bench.
"He got hurt in practice yesterday, and he's going to be out an extended period of time, unfortunately," Quinn said addressing the media after practice. "He had a sling on, and it's an upper body injury.
"It's a dislocated shoulder, so he's going to be out for a while."
Grzelcyk is eighth on BU with 11 points (3-8--11), and is coming off an impressive World Junior tournament in which he was tied for second among American skaters with six points in five games.
"I don't know if there's a good time to lose your best player," Quinn said. "It's unfortunate because obviously he's shown in the first half of season with us, and with the World Junior, he's such a competitive kid, he's a great kid, he's a great player, and went in practice yesterday and just fell."
Injuries have been something Quinn and BU have been forced to deal with all season. The first-year coach has been without some of his top players at different points of the season, including forwards Evan Rodrigues and Cason Hohmann.
"I really don't spend a lot of time thinking about it; that's sports," Quinn said. "If you go to any college coach, I'm sure they'll have injuries. Ours just happen to be key players.
"I really don't spend a lot of time thinking about it. No disrespect to Matt Grzelcyk. I'd love to have him in the lineup tomorrow, but he's not. I'm confident with the guys we have. Like I eluded to earlier, I know we're going through a tough stretch right now, but we have an opportunity to change that."
Grzelcyk had skated in two games since returning from the World Junior tournament. He recorded two assists in a loss at Harvard, and a goal in a loss versus Dartmouth on Wednesday.
"It was an awkward situation. He was about five feet from the boards, and he kind of reached back to get the puck," Quinn said, describing the sequence that led to the injury. "The angle I was at, I cringed as soon as he hit the boards.
"I knew something was wrong. I was just glad it was his shoulder, and not anything else, because it was a scary fall into the boards. He went in very awkwardly."
Grzelcyk, a local player from nearby Charlestown, is a Boston Bruins prospect, and one of many local Terrier players.
"I didn't really want to bring it up to him when we were driving over here and he was in a sling," Quinn said. "I didn't want to bring it up. But I'm sure he's disappointed.
"All our local guys are looking forward to playing in this game. Like [Danny O'Regan] and [Garrett Noonan] alluded to, it's special. Even if you're not a baseball fan, it's special. I know he is a baseball fan, and I know he's very disappointed he's missing a game.