Watch: Ice hockey goaltender loses front two teeth after saving shot

In sport, we are commonly told of how athletes put their bodies on the line while competing in their desired sports, and in ice hockey, that is no exception.

The extent of how true that saying can be was exemplified in yesterday's NHL clash between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Tampa Bay's goaltender Ben Bishop was critical in the Lightening's 7-3 victory over the home side, making 40 saves as his side won their fifth game of the season, but it came at a cost.

Toronto's Peter Holland hit Bishop with a wristshot with 6:40 left in the second period of the match, slicing through the legs of defenceman Andrej Sustr and smashing Bishop in the facemask.

The six-foot-seven goalie dropped his stick and fell to the ground clutching at his mask. After taking it off and looking inside, he found his two front teeth - both crowns - had been knocked out, with teammate Brian Boyle appearing to pick them up off the ice for Bishop.

Although dazed, Bishop seemed intent on staying on the ice for the remainder of the match, as he managed to see out the rest of the match.

"I was shocked," the goalie said after the match.

"Knocked my two front teeth out.

"They were already crowned, so at least I already had that going for me.

"It wasn't super-painful or anything like that. I was just trying to be like these guys [his teammates], I guess.

"They lose teeth all the time."

"It was throbbing pretty good," he added.

"And my talking's a little different right now. Other than that I was able to just stay with it."

Lightning head coach Jon Cooper initially thought his goalie was okay.

"Then our trainer came to the bench and he opened his hand and I couldn't believe how big Ben's teeth actually are," he stated.

"But gutty effort. We talked to him and I guess the vibration knocked his teeth loose. Apparently they were fake anyway."

Captain Steven Stamkos was also impressed by both his teammates courage to stay on the ice, and also his performance on it.

"He made some a lot of saves and a lot of key saves ... He showed why he's one of the best tonight," he said.

- NZ Herald

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