Wild, wacky weekend leads to 40-plus game suspensions

first_imgBy Bruce Fuhr,The Nelson Daily SportsThere must have been a full moon hanging over the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League this past weekend.Why else would 16 players be suspended for a total of 44 games over three days?“I don’t know maybe it really was a full moon,” KIJHL president Bill Ohlhausen said when asked if he knew why all the line brawls. “I have to admit as the president I’m a little disappointed but maybe it’s getting close to Christmas and the players are not thinking about the rules that are in place to stop these sort of events from happening.”The craziness started when Columbia Valley’s Guillaume Glasspoole was hit with a match penalty Friday. His sentence, three games.In Fruitvale Saturday, gloves starting flying between Beaver Valley and Nelson with 2:07 remaining in the third period.The line brawl cost Hawks’ Keanan Patershuk and Arie Postmus and Blake Arcuri and Cody Abbey of the Leafs each three games for multiple fights in the same stoppage.
Game referee Jim Maniago handed out more than 145 minutes in penalties.Four Columbia Valley players and five from the Penticton Lakers were also suspended for, what else, multiple fights in the same stoppage.“The message is already out there,” Ohlhausen exclaimed. “Hockey Canada has decided any major penalty in the last 10 minutes o the game is an automatic one-game suspension.”“And multiple fights in the final 10 minutes or after the game are all things we as a league are trying to get through to the players that will not be tolerated,” Ohlhausen added. “It’s the same message the NHL is using to try to stop fighting.”Nelson coach Chris Shaw feels emotions may have started to escalate during an earlier game in Nelson between the Hawks and Leafs.Those emotions hit the boiling point during the final minutes Saturday.“It wasn’t anything that was cheap or dirty,” Shaw explained. “It was kind of a situation that happened where one player went to protect another one and then the other player went to protect his player that all turned into a line brawl.”“It’s not something that’s uncommon in the past in hockey but now a days you don’t see it happen that often,” added Shaw, part of the collateral damage from Saturday night, suspended for one game for his team being involved in four fights in the game.Abbey and Arcuri started serving their three-game suspensions Sunday, watching from the stands Nelson lose 6-5 in double-overtime. The pair is due to return January 2, 2011 in Spokane when Nelson faces the Braves. “I hope it was just a freak thing and it’s all over with now,” Ohlhausen said. “I hope it was just the players ready for the Christmas break and not thinking about the rules.”We can only hope because the next scheduled full moon is set for early January 2011, when the league begins the home stretch to the season following the Christmas break.sports@thenelsondaily.comlast_img

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