Zarkovich’s “Happy Dance” Injury Dampens Tigres’ Victory

The playoff battle in the east is still a four-team race, but the Quebec Tigres have fallen behind the pack in recent weeks.  The defending division champs struggled with injuries throughout the season.  They made a bold move to acquire D Matt Cherner from Dakota at the deadline; he has produced, but has not single-handedly lifted Quebec back to contention.

On Sunday, the Tigres got a much-needed decisive win, pounding the Saskatchewan Shockers by a 6-0 score.  The win completed a sweep of a home-and-home series with the Shockers, and helped Quebec keep pace with the Hershey Bliss and Hamilton Pistols, both of whom also won that night.

Drustan Zarkovich

But in keeping with the Tigres’ luck this season, the win came at a price, as C Drustan Zarkovich went down with an injury.  Worse yet, his injury didn’t come from a hard check or any part of the game; rather, it stemmed from an overenthusiastic postgame celebration.

Naturally, the mood was jubilant in the Quebec locker room after the game.  D Laurie Workman got the party started by blasting Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration” on the speaker in his locker.  The song is one of Zarkovich’s favorites, and he jumped up and began to dance with the music.

“We win big time and I score a goal, so I feel happy,” said Zarkovich.  “And I feel like I want to do my happy dance.”

According to reports from inside the locker room, Zarkovich’s dance wasn’t a model of physical grace, but it was enthusiastic, and his teammates began clapping and cheering along (at least those who weren’t diving for cover).  Egged on by the reaction, the center’s dance moves became wilder and he began making wider circles around the room.

In the midst of the jubilation, however, Zarkovich reportedly stepped on a stool and went down in a heap.  He was later diagnosed with a sprained ankle.

“I cannot believe it,” said Zarkovich.  “I sprain my ankle doing my happy dance?  This is the worst luck.  The world must hate me.”

When asked about Zarkovich’s injury, Tigres coach Martin Delorme pinched the bridge of his nose and paused for several moments before responding.  “This was not what we needed right now,” said Delorme.  “Zarko is a very… colorful person.  There are other words I am trying not to use.  I wish I could say that this could happen to anyone, but really, it could happen only to him.”

The center missed the rest of Quebec’s games this week and will reportedly miss next week’s as well, but the team hopes he will be ready to return to action after that.  “Unless he steps in a hole or falls off of his pogo stick or something similar,” Delorme said.  “I think perhaps we should cover him in bubble wrap when he is off the ice.”

Game 49, Saskatchewan @ Quebec, Centre Citadelle

                   1   2   3   OT   F
Saskatchewan       0   0   0        0
Quebec             3   2   1        6

 
Saskatchewan           G   A PTS PIM +/-   Quebec                 G   A PTS PIM +/-

Chamberlain     LW     0   0   0   0  -2   Camernitz       LW     0   0   0   0   2
Oflyng          D      0   0   0   6  -1   Workman         D      1   0   1   5   1
Karlsson        C      0   0   0   0  -2   Ilyushin        C      0   2   2   0   2
Barnes          D      0   0   0   0  -1   Mirac           RW     1   1   2   0   2
Jabril          RW     0   0   0   0  -2   Wesson          D      0   1   1   0   1
Cox             D      0   0   0   0  -1   Zarkovich       C      1   0   1   0   2
Rafferty        C      0   0   0   2  -2   Robinson        RW     0   2   2   0   2
Blacklett       D      0   0   0   0  -3   MacDiarmid      LW     1   0   1   0   2
Kucharov        RW     0   0   0   5  -2   Olsson          D      0   2   2   0   3
Soforenko       LW     0   0   0   0  -2   Miller          C      1   0   1   0   1
Perignon        C      0   0   0   0  -1   Pentti          RW     0   0   0   0   1
Eberhardt       D      0   0   0   4  -3   Pugliese        D      0   2   2   0   3
Stevens         RW     0   0   0   2  -1   Kane            F      0   0   0   0   1
Clark           F      0   0   0   0  -1   McKinley        D      0   0   0   0   1
Anderson        D      0   0   0   4  -1   Cherner         D      1   1   2   0   1
----------------------------------------   ----------------------------------------
TOTALS                 0   0   0  23  -5   TOTALS                 6  11  17   5   5

Scratches:
SAS:  McLearen, Rohrman, Bradshaw
QUE:  Jones, Zhzhynov, Bleyer, Fisker (DL)

 
Saskatchewan        SH    SV    G    Sv%
----------------------------------------
Zagurski            34    28    6  0.824

Quebec              SH    SV    G    Sv%
----------------------------------------
Tiktuunen           24    24    0  1.000

 

First Period
------------

GOALS:
02:14  QUE  Miller (Wesson)
03:11  QUE  Zarkovich (Robinson, Olsson)
14:32  QUE  MacDiarmid (Pugliese, Robinson)

PENALTIES:
08:37  SAS  Anderson 4:00 (High-sticking)
12:44  QUE  Workman 5:00 (Fighting)
12:44  SAS  Kucharov 5:00 (Fighting)

Second Period
-------------

GOALS:
06:56  QUE  Cherner (Ilyushin, Mirac)
13:30  QUE  Mirac (Olsson, Pugliese)

PENALTIES:
02:36  SAS  Oflyng 4:00 (Spearing)
03:38  SAS  Stevens 2:00 (Tripping)
04:02  SAS  Rafferty 2:00 (High-sticking)

Third Period
------------

GOALS:
11:32  QUE  Workman PP (Cherner, Ilyushin)

PENALTIES:
08:24  SAS  Oflyng 2:00 (Hooking)
11:10  SAS  Eberhardt 2:00 (Cross-checking)
13:15  SAS  Eberhardt 2:00 (Holding the Stick)


 
SHOTS
------
                   1   2   3   OT   F
Saskatchewan      10   6   8       24
Quebec            15   9  10       34

 
POWER PLAYS
-----------

Saskatchewan     0 for 0
Quebec           1 for 7

 
INJURIES
--------

Drustan Zarkovich (QUE) -- Lower-body  7 games
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