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Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will play for Barons on Sunday

by Michael Baldwin Published: October 27, 2012
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Barons center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who left Friday's game after getting hit in the mouth with a stick, participated in practice Saturday morning and will play in Sunday afternoon's game against the Texas Stars.

Nugent-Hopkins, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, had an upper front tooth chipped and another pushed back.

“I didn't think I'd be able to keep it to be honest with you,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “(The dentist) said he could reposition them. ... It was an accident. He didn't mean to do it on purpose.”

Nugent-Hopkins, 19, will wear a full face mask hockey players refer to as a “cheese grater” or “cage.” He last regularly wore a full face mask at age 15 in midgets with the Vancouver Northwest Giants.

“It restricts you a little bit, but once you get used to it, you learn to live with it,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “Obviously you grew up playing with them.”

Opponents have played physically against the Edmonton Oilers' young stars that are playing with the Barons during the lockout.

“It is chippier down here (in the American Hockey League),” Nugent-Hopkins said. “You just have to play around that kind of stuff.”

by Michael Baldwin
Redhawks, Barons, MLB, NFL Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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