Wildcat suspended after savage swing sidelines Moosehead
Published Thursday, February 21, 2013 7:21PM AST
A Moncton Wildcats player whose swinging stick broke the jaw of a Halifax Mooseheads player has been suspended for 15 games.
Halifax defenceman Brian Lovell will be out of action for the rest of the regular season, along with Ross Johnston who has been benched after Saturday night’s game at the Halifax Metro Centre.
In the third period, Johnston and Lovell went into the end boards together.
Johnston’s stick got stuck and then the six-foot-ten, 230-pound forward brought it out and into the face of the six-foot-one, 200-pound Halifax player.
No penalty was called on the play.
“When we saw the video, we thought it was worth sending it to the league. We thought it was a dangerous move by him,” says Dominique Ducharme, head coach for the Halifax Mooseheads.
The swinging stick broke Lovell’s jaw, putting the Moosehead out of action for the rest of the regular season and potentially into the playoffs. He underwent surgery Sunday night.
Today, Johnston was suspended for 15 games, which equals the rest of the regular season plus three playoff games.
“We think it’s fair,” says Ducharme of the punishment.
John Moore, a play-by-play announcer for the Mooseheads, has reviewed the video a number of times.
“Well, it did happen away from the play. In fairness to the officials, the puck was down in the other end,” says Moore. “Based on what I’ve seen, what I’ve heard and the fact that he is a repeat offender, I think it is appropriate.”
This isn’t the first time Johnston has been suspended.
He was suspended for two games as a result of an incident in a playoff game against the Halifax Mooseheads last year. However, that incident wasn’t as serious as the one involving Lovell.
Ducharme expects it may be another week or more before Lovell can begin skating again. When he does return, he will be wearing a full mask to protect his jaw.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Rick Grant