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Brad E. Schlossman / Forum Communications Co., Published December 27 2009

UND hockey's Genoway deals with post-concussion troubles

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Before the last road trip, Chay Genoway boarded the bus with the team.

He sat with his University of North Dakota men’s hockey teammates, chatted with them and got them fired up for their road trip to play Minnesota-Duluth. He didn’t leave the bus until it started pulling out of Ralph Engelstad Arena. Then came the long, painful walk down the tunnel, realizing that he was missing another trip with the guys and two more Western Collegiate Hockey Association games.

It has been a trying senior year for Genoway, who has missed the last nine games with post-concussion syndrome. The injury occurred on an illegal hit from behind into the boards by St. Cloud State forward Aaron Marvin on Nov. 13.

Genoway hasn’t played since. While he is making progress, the Sioux still don’t know when he’ll be back.

“There has been significant change from Day 1,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “But how you judge post-concussion syndrome on a timeline is a question that’s never been able to be answered, even by the top doctors and physicians in the world. When he gets there, when he’s 100 percent clear for a reasonable period of time, he’ll be back.”

Genoway has still been with the team off the ice.

He hangs out at the rink and sometimes watches practice, although he sits at the top of the arena to keep his post-concussion side effects away.

Genoway made a short, live appearance on the big screen at the start of last week’s exhibition against the U.S. World Junior team telling Sioux fans that he misses them and that they are the best fans in hockey.

“I think anyone who saw him on the Jumbotron saw some of the pain on his face of being out of the lineup,” Hakstol said.

Genoway’s absence has made a young Sioux team even younger. UND’s senior class – Genoway, Darcy Zajac and Chris VandeVelde – is the smallest in the WCHA. UND also has more freshmen than anyone in the league.

They started the season 7-1-1, but are 2-5-2 since Genoway’s injury.

“Chay is our captain, no question, and a glue in the locker room,” Hakstol said. “But in his absence, someone else has to step up and take over that role. I don’t know if we’ve done a good job until now, but we have the right people in the locker room to be able to overcome that. We have a real determined group.”

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Brad Schlossman is a writer for the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.