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Labenski suspended for 5 games

The IHL has suspended Dayton Gems defenseman Greg Labenski five games for elbowing the Komets' Konstantin Shafranov during a 2-1 Fort Wayne victory on Saturday night. Shafranov, who has a concussion, missed Sunday's 2-1 loss at Muskegon, Mich., and has been placed on 30-day injured reserve.

"I thought it was a blatant elbow and caused damage to the player," Fort Wayne coach Al Sims said, adding that the punishment was in keeping with an incident last season.

Komets forward Brad MacMillan was suspended five games for a similar elbow last season on Kalamazoo's Glenn Detulleo.

"MacMillan set the precedent, I think, last year and the hits were very similar," Sims said. "This was definitely a warranted suspension."

Defensman Kevin Bertram, who suffered a hamstring injury in the season opener, is expected to be back in the lineup Friday against the Muskegon Lumberjacks at Memorial Coliseum.

Justin A. Cohn, pro sports coordinator for The Journal Gazette, has been covering the Fort Wayne Komets since 1997. His reporting includes game stories from home and away, features about the players and personalities associated with the Komets, plus coverage of issues affecting hockey at all levels. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Cohn graduated from Emory University in Atlanta. He can be reached at 260-461-8429 or by email at jcohn@jg.net.

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