The IHL came down hard on Komets goaltender Tim Haun, handing him a seven-game suspension for trying to injure Derek Patrosso with a baseball-style swing of the stick during a 2-0 loss Saturday night at Port Huron, Mich.
Brad Jones, vice president of hockey operations, who determined the punishment, deemed Hauns actions premeditated.
Prior to the match penalty being assessed, he had a conversation with the referee (Ryan Hutchison) and made a chopping motion, Jones said. Based on the report from the referee, he was going to take matters into his hands. It was a match penalty and a clear intent to injure, and this punishment was necessary.
And Ive read some (contrary) reports, so I want to make this clear: There was contact made (with Patrosso). It was not a swing and a miss. It was a baseball swing that made contact.
After the swing, there was a melee that included a fight between Haun and Port Huron goalie Larry Sterling.
Tim has to realize in the future that he cant do stuff like that, Komets general manager David Franke said. You cant let your emotions get the best of you like that.
Lucky for the Komets (12-8-1), who have lost four of five games, the Haun suspension coincides with the return of Turner Cup-winning goalie Nick Boucher, who missed six weeks with a hand injury.
Its been incredibly difficult to watch the team play. Especially since I felt that for the last week or 10 days that I could play. But the (injured reserve) rules are such that you cant get off early, said Boucher, who will continue to nurse his hand the rest of the season.
In Bouchers absence, Haun, who couldnt be reached for comment, played 15 consecutive games, going 8-6-1. For the season, he is 9-7-1 with a 2.44 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage.
(Haun) did a fantastic job, Boucher said. I dont think its any secret that he stepped up in a big way when we needed him to. But the defensive play of the team as a whole was good. We just need to step up the offensive play, and well be in good shape.
As for Tim, he was really not used to playing that much. He was maybe a bit apprehensive about being thrown in for (15) straight games. But he did a bang-up job.
Franke expressed some apprehension about throwing Boucher into the lineup for seven games in 13 days, starting with Fridays game against visiting Quad City, calling it unfortunate timing. The Komets will have former NHL goalie Parris Duffus, a member of the Fort Wayne Fire Department, as an emergency backup this weekend.
The Komets will also get back forward Brad MacMillan, who completed his 15-game suspension for leaving the penalty box to fight Muskegons Jason Lawmaster, and forward Konstantin Shafranov should play twice this weekend after missing a month with a concussion.