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Bloodied Slovakian player stable after hit

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VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Slovakia’s Lubos Bartecko was in stable condition on Tuesday after an elbow to the head from Norway’s Ole Kristian Tollefsen during an Olympic ice hockey qualification game on Tuesday left him lying in a pool of blood.

The incident occurred six minutes into the first period of a scoreless game when Tollefsen cut across the ice and caught an unsuspecting Bartecko with a left elbow as he moved up the wing.

Bartecko, who fell backward and hit his head on the ice, appeared to temporarily lose consciousness as blood poured from the back of his head.

Medical staff rushed onto the ice and Bartecko was taken off the ice on a stretcher and examined by doctors at Canada Hockey Place.

He was transferred to a clinic at the Vancouver athletes’ village where he was listed in stable condition by medical staff, a spokesman for the Slovakian team said in a statement.

Tollefsen, who plays for the Detroit Red Wings and is the only current NHLer on the Norwegian team, was handed a five minute major penalty, a match penalty and ejected from the game.

Editing by Frank Pingue