The playoffs are over for Toronto Marlies’ center Frederik Gauthier.

The postseason goes on, though, for Syracuse’s Jake Dotchin, after the Crunch defensemen delivered an illegal hit on which Gauthier suffered a leg injury.

Dotchin has been suspended for three games. With the Crunch up 2-0 in their best-of-seven series against the Marlies, he’ll either return for Game 6 (if necessary), or be back in the lineup for Game 1 or Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, should Syracuse win in five or sweep, respectively.

 


Dotchin was given a major for interference and a game misconduct for the hit by referees Pierre Lambert and Peter MacDougall.

“Freddy is looking at a lengthy recovery,” said Marlies head coach Sheldon Keefe. “It’s a terrible loss, for Freddy and for us. He’s been playing as good hockey as I’ve seen, especially now that he’s been skating and the extra speed he has been bringing.”

 


Gauthier is expected to miss six months, keeping him sidelined for the playoffs, training camp, and the start of the 2017-18 season.

“We’ve established [Gauthier] as our top center,” said Keefe. “He’s had a good year. I think it would have been big for his development to keep pushing longer in the playoffs and obviously this will affect his summer of training and next season as well in the Leaf organization. Freddy’s going to have to heal up quickly and put the work in when he gets through this process.”

Dotchin will miss Games 3 and 4 of the Crunch’s series against the Marlies on May 9 and 10, along with either Game 5 on Saturday, May 13, or Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.