London Knights goaltender Anthony Stolarz has been suspended eight games for swinging his stick at the head of Windsor Spitfires forward Josh Ho-Sang, the Ontario Hockey League team announced Wednesday.
Should two-time defending champion London wrap up its first round series on Thursday night, Stolarz could miss the entire second round of playoffs.
In the first period of London’s incident-filled 10-2 victory in Game 3 on Tuesday night, Ho-Sang jabbed his stick at the goaltender after a play at the net. As the Spitfires star skated away, Stolarz took a one-handed swing with his stick and hit Ho-Sung on the back of the head.
The Knights said the suspension was for a “stick infraction.”
Stolarz, a 2012 second round puck of the Philadelphia Flyers, was given a surprisingly lenient minor penalty for high-sticking.
“I apologize for my actions on Tuesday night,” Stolarz said Wednesday in a statement. “It’s an unfortunate situation and in no way did I intend to injure my opponent, Joshua Ho-Sang.”
Stolarz was not the only goalie to cause a stir.
After allowing eight goals, Windsor’s Dalen Kuchmey skated off the ice during a TV time out with 5:34 left in the second period and didn’t return.
Later, coach Bob Boughner said Kuchmey “quit on his team and quit on his teammates.”
Boughner said he left Kuchmey in the game because regular starter Alex Fotinos was sick and would only act as backup. Fotinos then went into the game and allowed London’s final two goals.
The Windsor Star reported that Kuchmey apologized to his teammates but did not intend to return to the team. He said he was embarrassed in front of the fans by being left in for so many goals. He had indicated after the sixth goal that he wanted to come out of the game.
Kuchmey tweeted that “nobody knows what happens behind the scenes.”