Special Thanks to Chris Messina
The Niagara Ice Dogs celebrated Coach Marty Williamson’s 500th career OHL game with a big win. While the boys razzed him about the milestone on the bench, it was on the ice the team paid tribute to their coach by putting the puck in the net -many times -with a 6-1 defeat of the Central Division’s top ranked Brampton Battalion.
Williamson began his odyssey into the coaching profession after returning to Ontario following a brief career as a pro hockey player in the minor leagues and in Europe. Williamson says he just fell into coaching at the age of 27 when he realized he still had the passion for the game and an opportunity arose to help a friend with a midget team. Williamson eventually became the head coach of the team which led him to good success in the Junior A tier two league. In 2004 Williamson was named head coach of the Barrie Colts in the OHL.
It was at his first game in the OHL he was welcomed to the league by Ottawa 67s coach Brian Kilrea. Williamson views Kilrea as one of his mentors saying “he is the model in this league….a wonderful man and good friend.” While Williamson wanted to be like Kilrea and stay with one team throughout his OHL career, Williamson was lured away from the Barrie Colts to become coach and general manager of the Niagara Ice Dogs in 2010.
While Williamson enjoys the added role of general manager, he says “coaching is where the fun is at.” He particularly enjoys the OHL because “it is a development league. For me as a player I would have loved to go to the NHL… To watch these guys reach their dreams, I get a kick out of it. They’ve got talent, they’ve got the pursuit. It’s great to be part of it. The coaching staff here is a great part of guiding them (towards pro careers)….Being in the dressing room with the guys is the best part.”
While Williamson led the Tier II Aurora Tigers to the Royal Bank Cup which he says is “one of the toughest trophies to win,” don’t count him out yet for winning the Memorial Cup which many believe is the toughest trophy to win. Williamson says the Ice Dogs are still on track to have a successful year. He says the Ice Dogs are “starting to win week-ends and get consistency. There is work to do to get the team where I want it, a piece or two missing….. Everything looks great on paper. We’ve got the skill and talent to be a top team. We need a little more grit added to this team…, with my GM hat, my job to do in the next month or two is to add that…..I still believe in this hockey team…we have gone through a lot of adversity but we are going to have a strong second half.”
The Ice Dogs may have more adversity in the near future as Mark Visentin, Ryan Strome, and Dougie and Freddie Hamilton are expected to leave to attend Team Canada selection camp and then subsequently for the World Juniors. Williamson says the “four really have a good chance to make Team Canada (and it will be a) tough 7 games without them. But those guys will win a gold medal and make this team better when they get back.”
- Carter Verhaeghe scored his first career OHL goal Thursday evening against Brampton
- Trevor Peterson scored his first career OHL goal Friday evening against Windsor
- Broderick Kelly has been called up from the St. Catharines Junior B squad
- Two former Ice Dog goaltenders shared the game Friday night for Windsor- John Cullen and Jaro Pavelka
- Ice Dogs swept the week-end:
-Thursday defeated Brampton 6-1
-Friday defeated Windsor 6-3
-Saturday defeated Sarnia 4-2
At what point did things go from bad to worse in Erie? Last place in the league, 11 points behind their next closest basement dweller, what's happened there this seasons? Of course this blog isn't about the Otters so moving on...
The Kitchener Rangers pounded the Erie Otters 7-3 last night. Of course that isn't exactly exceeding expectations for this Ranger team, who now has 33 points on the season. Talk about exceeding expectations, and you have to think of Radek Faksa and Tobias Rieder. The Kitchener Rangers two import picks are leading the team lately. Rieder has 19 goals, and Faksa has 13. It's not unusual for a player to come here from Europe and take a year to adjust to Canada. They usually don't find their stride until their second season. But Faksa has jumped on the ice and fit in perfectly. With his 2 goals last night, he now has 26 points in 23 games, and this should continue as, for some odd reason, he is not expected to join the Czech team at the World Juniors.
Tobias Rieder has been firing on all cylinders so far this season. 19 goals in 24 games, giving him 32 points so far this season. Just to compare that, former Ranger turned NHL first round pick, All star and Calder trophy winner Jeff Skinner took 25 games to reach 19 during his 50 goal season, which was his last in Kitchener. Not to put too much pressure on Rieder (Who just got on twitter @TobiRieder9), but I'm pretty sure everyone on East Ave and a few folks in Edmonton would love to see this trend continue.
And he may have to keep that trend up with the Rangers defensive corps all banged up. Goalie John Gibson is out with a sore back, and when it gets better he'll likely be off to the USA World Junior camp. Carolina draft pick Ryan Murphy is still out with his concussion but is likely to return Thursday vs. Brampton. Rookie blue liner Jared Gilbert has a broken wrist, and add that to Evan McEnemy, who is sitting the whole season after hurting his leg back in October. If a goalie and three defenders down wasn't enough, Andrew Cresenczi also has a sore hand, and sophomore forward Matia Marcantuoni has a shoulder that is so swollen, doctors have yet to even look at it.
Yet with all these injuries the Rangers have yet to skip a beat. They've won 7 of there last 8, are sitting in 4th place overall in the OHL (one point ahead of the 67's with a game in hand), and even received an Honourable Mention in the CHL Top 10 this past week. Once a few of these guys get back from injuries and the World Juniors are over, expect this team to really take off.
One final thought, when was the last time so many Rangers were expected to play at the World Juniors for different teams? The most I remember in the past was in 2002/2003 when Derek Roy, Gregory Campbell and Steve Eminger all played for Team Canada, but this year we have John Gibson (USA), Ryan Murphy (Canada) and Tobias Rieder (Germany), and I believe the Czech's could really use Radek Faksa, although that probably won't happen. It's great to see the Rangers international scouting staff working so well! Just as long as they don't burn the Canadians come that gold medal game.
This week we head to Eastern Ontario and take a look at the Peterborough Petes' hot prospect. The smooth-skating, offensive-minded defenseman is blossoming into one of the best Defenders in the 'O'. Let's get to know Slater Koekkoek's game a little better...
NHL Draft Prospect: Slater Koekkoek – Peterborough Petes
Weight: 183 lbs
Draft Eligible: 2012
When you first look at Slater Kokkoek’s stat-line from last season it isn’t the goals, the assists or the penalty minutes that jumps out at you. What you first see is the plus/minus. Last season, playing with the Peterborough Petes, the Mountain, Ontario product was a minus 29. This is where I hate this statistic. When watching Slater play you see the genius in his game. His defensive and offensive positioning is usually on point and his passing is very creative. He often-times gives you the “how did he see that” moment. But you can’t see that in a stat-line. All you see is that his defensive game must be sub-par due to his plus/minus.
In his rookie season, Koekkoek, had 23 points, seven of them being goals. This season in 22 games he has already scored five goals and 17 points. His offensive game is flourishing as have his Peterborough Petes squad who find themselves right in the thick of it in the Eastern Conference. Slater brings an up-tempo style to his game. He can skate well and makes great first passes that allow for the creation of team speed through the neutral zone, all of this while playing more than 26 minutes per night.
There is a lot to like with Slater, as there should be with a prospect of this caliber. But, what needs to be improved upon is his defensive play, below his own icing line. He can be caught out of position from time to time and at the next level this could turn into a lot of lapses in coverage. His game is raw and he will be a bit of a project to help him refine his game, but he has a high ceiling. His skill set is there and thus, he should be a mid-first-round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
NHL Player Comparison: Erik Karlsson
Welcome back for another edition of the ITO Power Rankings, as well as our Three Stars for the week of November 14th-20th. We have now reached the point in the season where the standings won’t mean as much to the Power Rankings as how a team has been playing recently, and we should start to see teams fluctuate up and down as they go through the ebbs and flows of the Ontario Hockey League season.
ITO 3 Stars
1. Tanner Pearson (Barrie Colts) – The league’s leading scorer continued putting up points at a rabid pace this week, registering ten points in just three games. After picking up an assist Thursday against Sudbury, Tanner would have a huge game in Ottawa a night later, scoring three goals including the overtime winner, and adding three assists in a 6-5 win. Sunday afternoon, Tanner would help out on all three goals, as the Colts would defeat Kingston 3-1. With ten points, three of them goals, Tanner Pearson was a clear choice as the ITO 1st Star of the week.
2. Tyler Toffoli (Ottawa 67’s) – It only makes sense that the league’s second leading scorer would be this week’s 2nd Star, as Tyler Toffoli earns the nomination with a big week of his own. Toffoli’s week began with a two goal, three point performance against Barrie on Friday night, helping the 67’s earn a point. After being kept off the scoresheet in Belleville the next night, Tyler would finish the week big, racking up three goals and five points in a 5-2 win over Niagara. By scoring five goals and three assists in three games over the weekend, Tyler Toffoli is the ITO 2nd Star for Week 9.
3. Mark Visentin (Niagara IceDogs) – Mark finds himself back in the ITO Three Stars this week, as two shutouts in the same week is just too much to ignore. Mark would stop all 24 shots he would face in a blanking of Mississauga on Thursday, and kept rolling a night later, stopping 16 shots for another shutout in Kingston. Despite being hooked early in a loss to Ottawa on Sunday afternoon, Mark’s performance this week is worthy of being our Third Star for the week.
ITO Power Rankings
1. London Knights – (Last Week: 1) The London Knights continue to reign atop the OHL Power Rankings this week, though their lead on the rest of the league is beginning to shrink. The Knights started the weekend off with a loss on home ice to Plymouth, but would take both ends of a home and home series with Owen Sound to retain the top spot. This week, London hosts Barrie on Friday night, then play in Erie and Brampton on Saturday and Sunday.
2. Plymouth Whalers – (Last Week: 3) Plymouth has registered 19 points in the last ten games, and kept the streak alive by winning all three games over the last week. After an overtime win in Windsor on Thursday, the Whalers would defeat London and Kitchener over the next two nights, wrapping a perfect week. Looking ahead, Plymouth hosts Saginaw on Wednesday night, has Peterborough come into town for a Friday night game, and finishes in Guelph Saturday.
3. Sarnia Sting – (Last Week: 2) Not even winning two of three games this week was enough to stop the Sting from slipping a spot this week, landing at number three. A Thursday night loss at home to Kitchener would prove to be their undoing, despite winning both ends of a home and home series with Saginaw over the weekend. Sarnia gets a rematch in Kitchener coming up on Sunday afternoon, but not before playing host to Barrie on Thursday and Niagara on Saturday.
4. Kitchener Rangers – (Last Week: 5) Two wins in three games helps the Rangers climb to the number four spot this week. A big win in Sarnia on Thursday was followed by a blowout win over Erie the next night. Only a Saturday night loss to Plymouth kept Kitchener from enjoying a perfect week. The Rangers play three home games this week, starting Tuesday against Guelph, and playing games Friday versus Erie and Sunday against Sarnia.
5. Peterborough Petes – (Last Week: 8) Peterborough climbs into the top five this week, winning two of three games to stay in the hunt in the East Division. The Petes would split a home and home series with Belleville during the week before defeating Windsor on Saturday night. Peterborough heads out on the road this week, playing games over the weekend in Plymouth, Saginaw, and Windsor.
6. Brampton Battalion – (Last Week: 4) The Battalion slide two spots to number six this week, after picking up three points over a three game weekend. Brampton started the week by losing a shootout in Saginaw Thursday night, then lost to Sault Ste. Marie the next night. The Battalion would rebound on Sunday to end the week, posting a shutout over Sudbury. Brampton plays a pair of weekday games this week, playing in Mississauga on Wednesday and Niagara on Thursday. After a couple of days off, the Battalion will end the week at home, taking on London.
7. Ottawa 67’s – (Last Week: 7) The 67’s find themselves holding firm at number 7 this week, and they seemed to get better as the week progressed. Ottawa would start out the week with a tough OT loss at home to Barrie on Friday, but rebounded to win both weekend games, winning in Belleville before knocking off Niagara to end the week. Just two games on tap for the 67’s this week, as they will host Oshawa on Friday night, before a Sunday matinee in Kingston.
8. Belleville Bulls – (Last Week: 6) Belleville drops a couple of spots this week, after dropping consecutive games. After winning the opener of a home and home series with Peterborough on Wednesday, the Bulls would drop game two, and then lose again on Saturday to Ottawa. Belleville will play three times this week, playing in Erie on Thursday and Guelph on Friday. The Bulls finish the weekend on Sunday afternoon when they host Oshawa.
9. Guelph Storm – (Last Week: 14) Guelph is one of this week’s biggest movers, climbing five spots this week to land at number nine. The Storm would only play twice in the last week, but would win both games, knocking off Oshawa at home on Friday night, and shutting out Erie a night later. After a light week, Guelph will make up for it in the week ahead, as they play four times in the next seven days, beginning Tuesday night in Kitchener. The Storm return home for a couple of games on Friday and Saturday, hosting Belleville and Plymouth, before finishing the week in Mississauga on Sunday afternoon.
10. Barrie Colts – (Last Week: 15) Another team leaping up the Power Rankings, the Colts find themselves at number 10 this week, after winning three big conference games. Barrie would defeat Sudbury on Thursday night, picked up an overtime win a night later in Ottawa, and wrapped up the week in style, with a win at home over Kingston. A tough week lies ahead for the Colts, however, as they hit the road to play against two of the top teams in the league, in Sarnia on Thursday, and in London on Friday. Barrie completes three games in three nights when they return home to tangle with Sudbury on Saturday.
11. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – (Last Week: 10) The Greyhounds are down one spot this week, after splitting a pair of games in a relatively quiet week. The Soo would register a big win over Brampton on Friday night, but would lose on home ice just two nights later, dropping a decision to Mississauga. Another light week for Sault Ste. Marie lies ahead, as the Hounds play just two times once again, both at home. Saginaw comes into town for a Friday night contest, and Owen Sound visits one night later.
12. Owen Sound Attack – (Last Week: 12) The Attack are able to remain at twelve this week in the Power Rankings, even though they earned three points in three games over the last week. Owen Sound would defeat Erie on Wednesday night, but found themselves unable to build on the momentum, losing both ends of a home and home series with a highly touted team from London. Only two games are on the schedule for the Attack this week, as they head out for games in Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie on Friday and Saturday.
13. Niagara IceDogs – (Last Week: 13) The IceDogs remain at 13 this week, despite winning two of their three games. After shutouts against Mississauga and Kingston on Thursday and Friday nights, Niagara would lose the weekend finale in Ottawa. On deck for the IceDogs this week, they host Brampton on Thursday night, then set out on the road, making stops in Windsor on Friday night, and Sarnia Saturday.
14. Mississauga St. Michaels Majors – (Last Week: 9) Mississauga continues to struggle through the month of November, losing two of three games this past week. Losses in both Niagara and Sudbury last week sent the Majors plummeting down the Power Rankings, despite a win over Sault Ste. Marie on Sunday night that ended a four game losing streak. Mississauga will look to right the ship in the coming week, playing three times, yet not having to play games on back to back nights. The Majors host Brampton on Wednesday, before heading to Kingston for a Friday night contest. Mississauga finishes the week with a contest at home to Guelph on Sunday afternoon.
15. Sudbury Wolves – (Last Week: 11) Sudbury found themselves spiralling down the Power Rankings this week, falling four spots. The Wolves would lose to start the week in Barrie on Thursday, but returned home to knock off Mississauga the very next night. Sudbury would be shut out by Brampton Sunday afternoon on home ice, causing the slide. Just a pair of games await the Wolves this week for them to stop the freefall, as they host Owen Sound on Friday night, and play again in Barrie on Saturday.
16. Windsor Spitfires – (Last Week: 17) Windsor earned three points in three games this past week, and the end result sees them up one spot in the OHL Power Rankings. Thursday night, the Spits would drop an overtime loss to Plymouth, then turn in an ugly performance in a loss in Peterborough on Saturday. Windsor responded well, earning the win in Oshawa the next evening, which allows them to leap past the Generals this week.
17. Oshawa Generals – (Last Week: 16) Oshawa went winless this past week in three tries, earning just a single point for their efforts. Starting with a loss on the road in Guelph on Friday night, the Generals would drop home ice decisions to Kingston in overtime on Saturday, and to Windsor on Sunday evening. The loss to Windsor would see Oshawa slip one spot this week. The Generals play a pair of road games in a light week, playing in Ottawa on Friday evening, and in Belleville on Sunday afternoon.
18. Saginaw Spirit – (Last Week: 18) No change for Saginaw this week, as they would lose two of three matchups last week. The week would start well for the Spirit, as they would pick up a shootout victory over Brampton on Thursday, but would lose both ends of a home and home series with Sarnia, preventing Saginaw from gaining on the teams in front of them. The Spirit begin on the road this week, playing games in Plymouth on Wednesday and Sault Ste. Marie on Friday. Saginaw returns home for a Saturday night contest with Peterborough.
19. Kingston Frontenacs – (Last Week: 19) Kingston remains near the bottom of the OHL Power Rankings, but managed to pick up a win out of three contests this week. After being blanked by Niagara on Friday, the Frontenacs would head to Oshawa, where they would spoil Oshawa’s anniversary party with a come-from-behind overtime victory. The following afternoon, however, Kingston would lose in Barrie, halting momentum. The Fronts have a pair of home games this week, and will try to keep up their better play of late. Kingston hosts Mississauga and Ottawa on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
20. Erie Otters – (Last Week: 20) I don’t think things can get any worse for fans in Erie. My father’s pick as a team to watch this season, the Otters have seen their season flushed down the drain by a horrific start. Losses in Owen Sound and Kitchener this week were compounded by being shutout on home ice by Guelph. Erie would score just twice in their three contests this week, and now have just three wins in their first 22 games. The Otters play three games in three nights this week, hosting Belleville on Thursday, before playing in Kitchener Friday evening. Erie wraps the week up back at home on Saturday evening, hosting London.
The ITO Three Stars and Power Rankings can be found every Tuesday here at In The O… The Radio Show. Be sure to check back next week to see where your favourite team ranks, but if you can’t wait for your OHL fix, find me on Twitter, @N24Nicholson.
Two weeks ago I wrote about Ryan Murphy getting hit by Tom Kuhnackl, and how this would be a huge blow to the Kitchener Rangers... What was I thinking? The team has now won 5 straight, and are 8-1-1 in there last 10. Anyone seen the Midwest division standings lately? The boys in blue are only 4 points back of the mighty London Knights, a team they beat in a shoot out not too long ago.
So what's going on here? Has it been a lull in the schedule, playing only weak teams? Sarnia, Guelph, Erie, Oshawa and Sudbury (in no particular order) all fell victim to the Rangers over the last 5 games. Those teams, With the exception of Sarnia, are at the lower ends of their respective divisions, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they're bad teams. Regardless, the Rangers should have had 8 out of 10 points easy, and they got all 10. That's impressive. So whats with this sudden surge?
Look no further than John Gibson, Radek Faksa, Tobias Rieder and Zach Lorentz. Why Lorentz? As the kids say, he's got mad shoot out skillz bro. He came in to camp determined to be a better player and he has improved over last season, and he's continuing to get better.
Gibson has been incredible between the pipes, and Rieder and Faksa seem to score on almost every shot lately.
So far in the Month of November, Gibby has a 2.17 GAA and 0.941 Save percentage. When was the last time a Rangers net minder had those stats? Steve Mason? The guy is stopping and blocking almost everything out there and impressing everyone around the rink. He proved it even more on Thursday against Sarnia, when he outplayed former Rangers tender Brandon Maxwell. Maxx got pulled in that game after allowing 3 goals, while Gibon only allowed 2 goals on 40 shots.
Faksa has 9 points in seven games so far this month, good enough to get him placed on the top 5 of the OHL's Preliminary draft list for the upcoming NHL draft this summer. It seems he's found his stride in this country and is on his way to a great season.
The other import playing on East Ave, Tobias Rieder, has 10 points in the last 7 games including A three point night last night against Erie. In his sophomore season in Kitchener, Rieder has really stepped his game up and impressed all the fans in Kitchener. I'm sure there's a few scouts in Edmonton who are quite happy too.
The return of Captainacci (Rangers captain Michael Cattenaci) has been great as well. In his two games back the captain has 5 points including 4 last night against Erie. Hopefully this team can start getting healthy soon and we'll get Creszenci and Murphy back soon (and maybe McEnemy for the playoffs).
One more topic of note, City Council approved the expansion the the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, so at this time next year there will be an additional 1000 seats plus all new media boxes (more leg room for people 6ft tall maybe?) and private boxes. It only took 2 months to get this approved. Maybe Niagara's city council should pick up the slack too?
This week, we head north to the nickel belt to take a look at the play of second generation player, Kristoff Kontos. Let's get to know his game a little better...
NHL Draft Prospect: Kristoff Kontos--Sudbury Wolves
Weight: 203 lbs
Draft Eligible: 2012
The pride of Penetang, Ontario, Kontos is a big, bruising center who plays the game hard, both ways. The late 1993 birthday held him back a draft year and that's a good thing as far as his status is concerned. He has gotten off to a hot start and that has caused his stock to rise.
Kontos is most effective in games where the intensity and physical play is cranked up to 10. When he is going hard, he is a tough player to stop. When the game is more of a finnesse style, he tends to fade into the background. it's not that he doesn't have the skill to play that game, it just appears that he isn't as into it.
I think Kristoff's game is one that will improve at the next level, where the intensity will be dialed up every night and he will have to bring it every night. With that said, he has gotten off to a hot start, scoring 6 goals and 13 points in his first 18 games this season and the scouts are noticing.
Kontos is a pitbull in front of the net, and is next to impossible to move. He is an adequate skater and has an NHL-caliber shot to go along with a very deft set of hands. The pedigree is also there as Kontos's father, Chris, played in the NHL and pro over seas for a long time.
Kontos projects to be a late second or early third rounder and, if his play continues on this pace, he could move up even more. The power game is something that is hard to find and although his power game is raw, it is there...and NHL teams will want it.
NHL Player Comparison: Todd Bertuzzi (now, not-so-much 10 years ago)
There’s a saying out there that goes something along the lines of “you can do something right 1,000 times, but still slip up that 1,001st time.”
Branch also took into account that Rupert was reacting to Cousins, who was suspended two games for enticing the Knights player after the final buzzer.
He discounted further discipline for bullying after Rupert threw off his gloves and punched the Greyhound player. "We looked at that, but we didn't see that as the classic case of bullying. He did hit the player, but then realized what he was doing was wrong and stopped." Courtesy: London Free Press, Slash in the Pan
So upon hearing that London Knights forward Ryan Rupert only received 5 games for impersonating a lumber jack, I wanted to do what many people have done. And write my initial reaction to the situation providing complete knee jerk reaction.
Well I decided to fester on the manner before providing my knee jerk reaction.
I think the main problem with Ryan Rupert getting 5 games for his slash and mugging of Soo Greyhounds' Nick Cousins is the fact that a) it was only 5 games and b) Nick Cousins got 2 games for his 'part' in the altercation.
SO lets just look at the first issue here. Only 5 games for a first time offender who freely slashed an opposing player who was 'defenceless' and then proceeded to use his aggression to pounce on the fallen Greyhound and punch him with his bare hands. Mr. David Branch has proved again, as a Yahoo! Sports writer likes to say, 'the only thing consistent about the OHL is its inconsistency.' This season has set the precedents further than before by practically stating, if you attack a player in the head in any way, shape or form, it is 10 games and possibly more. Lets look back at 2 other suspensions that were 20+ games. former OHLers Zack Kassian and Zac Rinaldo both received indefinite suspensions for basically open ice hits that did make contact to the opposition players head. Yes, they were repeat offenders but those were also hockey plays. Ryan Rupert did not openly slash Cousins during a hockey play. The game was over, the buzzer went, and the Greyhounds got onto the ice to celebrate their new goaltender, Jack Campbell, first win as a member of the Soo. So how is this less of a suspension? This shows a great level of 'lack of respect' for your fellow league mates. and again, it was not a hockey play. This is equivalent to the instances where legal action is pursued due to stuff that happens in the confines of the game. Am I saying that legal action should be pursued? no. I believe that if it happens in the sporting world, during a period of time designated as 'playing time' then the law does not apply. That said, there should be a stiffer penalty for Rupert.
Now looking at point b, I have talked to many a media and players in regards to whom Nick Cousins is... needless to say, I am surprised to admit that 80% of these people agreed that if it would happen to a player in the OHL it would be Cousins. Fine, the man has a mouth on him, plays that agitator card and gets under your skin. Sean Avery made a career out of it, Steve Ott is doing the same in Dallas and there are countless others around the world who get paid to be that person. The issue with Cousins is that Branch actually suspended Cousins for 'taunting'? or did he suspended him for being in striking distance of a London Knights players' stick? 2 Games for 'excessive celebration'? I don't know. I am unsure how the victim got penalized 40% of what the attacker received... and he was suspended before the attacker was. Mathematically this makes Rupert's actions only 250% more heinous than Cousins 'taunting' the player. how you can suspend the player who was hit with the slash, and then a few more blows from bare knuckled fists is beyond me... then again it is the OHL... Nothing should surprise me anymore. But thank you David Branch for keeping this guy on his toes.
Oh yeah, here is the consistent part of the OHL. Dean Pawlaczyk and Alex O'Neill each received suspensions for head shots on the same day as Rupert got 5. Pawlaczyk earned a 15 game suspension for being a repeat offended, Dean was already suspended for 10 games earlier this season. If healthy and he does not get another suspension, Pawlaczyk would only play, at best 35 games this season, just over half the season. As for O'Neill, he fell under the head shot equals 10 games minimum theory.
Consistency meets inconsistency... Or maybe, us as media who was declaring that there should be at least 15 game suspension for Rupert are nothing but hungry sharks wanting blood... Nah, lets go with the inconsistency thing. The court of public appeal has spoken. Thank you Mr. Branch for ignoring it entirely.
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