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Hodgson out of lineup with broken foot

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Centre Cody Hodgson of the Brampton Battalion has been sidelined, probably until the Ontario Hockey League playoffs, with a broken right foot.

Battalion captain Hodgson suffered the injury to a metatarsal bone in blocking a shot in the second period of a 3-1 road win over the Sudbury Wolves on Feb. 12.

“I blocked that shot killing a penalty,” said Hodgson, who was scratched for a game Friday night against the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors.

“It hurt, but I got an x-ray a couple of days later. It came back negative, but the pain persisted. We thought it was a deep bone bruise, and I had it x-rayed again last Wednesday. We found the cracks show up later, and it showed that there’s a break.”

With the Battalion, third in the Central Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference, having clinched a playoff berth, the decision was made to give Hodgson rest and permit the injury to heal in anticipation of the postseason.

“It was important to clinch a playoff spot,” said Hodgson. “I was able to play through the pain to get us to this point. If I give it a couple of weeks’ rest while I’m wearing a walking cast, it should heal up pretty well.”

Said Hodgson: “I need to make sure it’s healthy and ready to go. I could play on it, but the doctors have advised me to stay off it and not put any undue pressure on it. I talked to the coaching staff, and we decided it was best to take all the precautions we can with it.”

The Battalion’s regular-season schedule ends Sunday, March 14, with the team’s opening-round playoff series expected to start the following Thursday or Friday night. The Kingston Frontenacs are the likely opponents.

Hodgson missed the first 50 games of the season after being returned to the Battalion by the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks on Sept. 29. He suffered a back injury in training in July and underwent rehabilitation before making his OHL season debut in a 4-2 home-ice victory Feb. 4 over the Erie Otters in which he earned two assists.

“I had great chemistry with Sean Jones and Scott Tanski, and as soon as I got on the ice I was able to put the pain aside and just focus on playing,” Hodgson said in praising his linemates.

He has played 13 games this season, scoring eight goals and earning 12 assists for 20 points while drawing nine penalty minutes. He had an eight-game points streak, during which he scored eight goals and added nine assists for 17 points, snapped in a 2-1 loss via shootout to the host Niagara IceDogs on Thursday night.

Hodgson, a resident of Markham, Ont., led the club in scoring last season with 43 goals and 49 assists for 92 points in 53 games, a number reduced by his absence while leading Canada to gold in the World Junior Championship at Ottawa. He topped the tournament in scoring with five goals and 11 assists for 16 points in six games. He was named the Canadian Hockey League’s Player of the Year and also won the Red Tilson Trophy as the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player and the William Hanley Trophy as the Most Sportsmanlike Player.

In 197 games, the Battalion’s first-round pick in the 2006 OHL Priority Selection has scored 114 goals and earned 129 assists for 243 points with 102 penalty minutes.

On the club’s all-time lists, Hodgson ranks second to Wojtek Wolski in goals, assists and points. He has a club-record 23 game-winning goals and is second to Wolski in power-play goals with 46. Hodgson has seven shorthanded goals, tied with Kamil Kreps for second place in club history behind Wolski, and is third in power-play assists with 60.

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