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Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
The IHL handed out suspensions for fighting between the Komets and Muskegon on Saturday.

IHL imposes suspensions for brawling

K’s fighter gets 15-game ban; rival to sit for 12

Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette

The IHL came down hard on Komets tough guy Brad MacMillan, suspending him 15 games for actions in Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Muskegon.

The Lumberjacks’ Robin Big Snake was suspended 12 games. Both suspensions are paid.

During the latter of two brawls in the opening period, MacMillan left the Memorial Coliseum penalty box to fight Jason Lawmaster, who had been on the ice pummeling Konstantin Shafranov, one of the team’s most gentlemanly players. As MacMillan tried to get at Lawmaster, he shoved a linesman out of the way.

Big Snake also left the penalty box to try to incite a fight with MacMillan, and he was also overly physical with an official.

“Do I agree with the suspension? Yes and no,” said MacMillan, who has one goal and 57 penalty minutes in six games this season. “I shouldn’t have come out of the box. And the thing with the linesman shouldn’t have happened. But I still feel I was a little justified with what was happening to Shafranov and the Muskegon players doing what they did.

“But the league is the league and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ll serve the suspension and continue to try to keep in shape. There’s nothing I can say or do that will change the situation.”

Leaving the penalty box carries with it an automatic suspension of 10 games. The remaining games for MacMillan and Big Snake were supplementary discipline handed out by the vice-president of hockey operations, Brad Jones, who was at the game.

“It was an unfortunate situation and was dealt with,” Jones said. “The fact that the suspended players must remain on their teams’ active rosters and under the salary cap comes into play with the teams (as punishment).”

MacMillan’s suspension is the longest for a Komets player since at least the 1980s. Mike Butters got a 10-game suspension in 1990 for leaving the bench to fight.

MacMillan will be eligible to return to the lineup Dec. 18 vs. Quad City.

“It’s a situation where it is what it is,” Komets general manager David Franke said. “(MacMillan) felt compelled to get some retribution for what had happened to Shafranov. We talked about it. He understands he shouldn’t have done it. On the other hand, he had to stick up for his teammate. I have no problem with that. It’s one of those unfortunate deals that happen from time to time.

“The fact that Big Snake got 12 games, I don’t feel we got picked on. I feel the punishment was fair. (MacMillan) was a lot more physical with the linesman than Big Snake was.”

The Komets and Lumberjacks, who met in the Turner Cup Finals last spring, will next face one another Nov. 15 at Muskegon, Mich.

MacMillan, Big Snake and Lawmaster were assessed undisclosed fines.

Notes: Fort Wayne’s Nick Boucher was selected as IHL Goaltender of the Week, after stopping 26 of 27 shots Saturday. … Defenseman Frankie DeAngelis took Rookie of the Week honors with one goal and three assists in two games.