The UK’s Elite Hockey League has issued four suspensions for actions that took place with 3:17 to play in the second period of the November 14 game between the Glasgow Clan and Milton Keynes Lightning.
The two teams combined for 122 penalty minutes in the game, a 6-1 Lightning victory. Cole Shudra led the way with 49 penalty minutes, followed by Glasgow’s Zack Fitzgerald with 33.
Referees for the game were Tom Darnell and Stefan Hogarth. Linesmen were Liv Andersson and Ilia Kisil.
From the EIHL:
At the 36:43 mark of the game, an incident occurred that requires supplementary discipline. The events that unfolded involve multiple suspensions. The incident was reviewed by the EIHL DOPS which determined that supplementary discipline is required.
There are a few important notes to the rules for consideration (and were not followed):
- Penalized players must proceed directly to the penalty box
- No player changes are permitted while a scrum/fight is in progress
- 1 punch (commonly know as sucker punches) is considered a 1 man fight which is to be penalized and considered for disciplinary discipline in a stricter regard.
- When a scrum/fight is in progress, all other players are to be at their players’ bench.
- The puck at a stoppage is to be left alone (not shot at or in the area of opposing players)
- Goalkeepers are to remain in their goal crease while scrums/fights are occurring
The above notes are a few of many of the basics of hockey. Hockey is meant to be a speed and skill game, with legal body checks/contact as an accepted part of the game. Fighting is not a legal act, shooting pucks at stoppages is not a legal act and leaving the players bench for the purpose of fighting is not a legal act.
The many events that unfolded at this one stoppage in play show a total lack of discipline from players that is entirely disrespectful to the game, opposing team and EIHL. After review of the entire situation, video footage, referee reports, etc., it has been determined that supplementary discipline is required to various players for varying circumstances. It is important to note that at no time does a player have the right to be excused from the rules or principals of the game. Meaning, the chain reaction (or blame game) of an incident occurring because of a previous situation is an unacceptable excuse. Everyone is considered responsible for their actions.
Effective immediately, the following suspensions are issued:
Suspension 1: Glasgow Clan #13 Zack Fitzgerald – Minor Kneeing, Minor Roughing, Major and Game Misconduct Fighting – 3 games
Zack Fitzgerald is suspended 1 game for kneeing and 2 games for the 1 punch (sucker punch) directly to the head of the opposing player, causing an apparent injury.
Suspension 2: Glasgow Clan #9 Brendan Connolly – Minor and Misconduct Unsportsmanlike Conduct – 2 games
Brendan Connolly skated from the area of his players bench (which is the area where he was to remain) for the purpose of provoking, inciting and physically contributing to the incident, which is the direct cause of an opposing player instigating a fight with Brendan Connolly.
Suspension 3: MK Lightning #1 Patrick Killeen – 1 game
Patrick Killeen is suspended for leaving his crease during an altercation, retrieving a lose puck and shooting the puck at a stoppage and verbally inciting a situation with the opposing team. This is also deemed a factor in the cause of provoking and inciting the incident to lead to further issues.
Suspension 4: MK Lightning #27 Cole Shudra – Double Minor and GM – Leaving the Players Bench, Major Fighting – 5 games
Cole Shudra is suspended for 3 games for leaving the players’ bench for the purpose of a fight, and 2 games for the 1 man fight with a direct blow to the head of the opposing players head, causing an apparent injury.
Shudra was suspended two games earlier this season for checking from behind.