Overturned Suspensions Help Ohio Hockey Before Series with Illinois

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It was just last week when Ohio Hockey took home a win against Pittsburgh at home but will the mid-game brawl that occurred risk their chances of losing their No. 2 spot in the rankings?

The Bobcats are on the road this weekend as they travel to take on No. 15 Illinois, and they won’t be as shorthanded as they thought they would be.

During the game last Saturday, the Bobcats were leading Pitt and it was during the second period when Bryan Lubin scored Ohio’s fifth goal which sparked the brawl that broke out including twelve players from both teams.

After the fight was broken up, all of the players involved were given game misconducts for fighting which, by protocol, leads to immediate suspension from the next game. Because of this, six Ohio players were expected to be sitting out in their next game against No. 15 Illinois. Ohio’s defensemen Reilly Moore and Tom Pokorney, forwards Tyler Harkins, Gabe Lampron and Bryan Lubin and goalie Ryan Heltion were the players involved in the brawl.

Since the Bobcats record all of their games and practices to use during film sessions, the whole fight was recorded and assistant coach Nathan De La Torre uploaded the video and sent it to the American Collegiate Hockey Association where the tape was studied by officials. After review, five out of the six suspensions have been overturned. Lampron’s was the only one upheld.

De La Torre was not too surprised that only one of the players was suspended as he mentioned in a previous interview. “I felt like their guy instigated the whole thing with the hit on Lubin,” he said. After watching the video, he claimed that the fight was a lot of hugging and wrestling around on the ice. “It was one of those situations where guys were protecting themselves and their teammates.”

As far as the lineup for the next game against Illinois, the majority of the team will dress with the exception of two players out with injuries after last Friday’s game. Within the first two periods, leading scorer Gianni Evangelisti and defenseman Tom Evans both suffered knee injuries and are expected to sit out for the next few weeks.

Games will begin at 8 p.m. both Friday and Saturday night.