Referees have long been known to “put away the whistle” when it comes to playoff hockey, but don’t think that the Ontario Hockey League isn’t still keeping a close eye on things just because the regular season is over.
Just ask the Barrie Colts or the Sudbury Wolves.
After handing out some pretty severe suspensions during the season, the OHL is back at it, dishing out 22 games worth of penalties for some incidents that took place in a playoff game between those two clubs on Sunday.
First up is Barrie’s Zac Rinaldo: he’s been suspended for 12 games for a blindside hit on a player coming out from behind the net. Marcus Foligno never saw him coming and fell to the ice clutching his head (though he might want to tighten that chin strap of his). Rinaldo, a prospect of the Philadelphia Flyers, was given five and a game for the hit.
The youngest of the Staal brothers and his Sudbury teammate were given five games each for what the league called on ice “bullying” during their team’s 6-2 loss.
Jared Staal was penalized for slashing and crosschecking a Barrie player and was given a game misconduct. Kain Allicock received a double game misconduct for an exchange with Barrie captain Stefan Della Rovere.
Just before a face-off in the Colts zone, Della Rovere skates up next to Allicock and does something to flick the crazy switch, because the Wolves forward seems to lose his mind out of nowhere.
Allicock attacks the Barrie captain and gets another shot in even once he’s tied up by the officials. He also got in trouble for abuse of an official because they couldn’t calm him down afterwards.
There are reports that a racial slur may have been used by Della Rovere, but Allicock simply said “no comment” when asked about the accusation.
This is just another example of junior hockey coming down a lot harder on players than the NHL does.
The Barrie Colts go for the series sweep tonight.