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Komets forward under review

Suspension possible for hit with helmet


Komets forward Brad MacMillan is under the disciplinary microscope of the IHL again.

Since serving a 15-game suspension for leaving the penalty box to fight and tossing aside a linesman during a game against Muskegon on Oct. 31, MacMillan has been back in the Komets’ lineup for only three games.

Now MacMillan is being reviewed again, with a possible suspension announcement coming today.

In the third period of Sunday’s 6-5 loss at Bloomington, Ill., MacMillan got into a fight with defenseman Matthew Spiller in front of the PrairieThunder’s net. After several punches had been thrown, MacMillan, whose helmet got knocked off early in the fight, ripped off Spiller’s helmet and hit him with it one time.

Referee Dan Rankin assessed MacMillan a match penalty for an attempt to injure, which means he cannot play until the league reviews the situation.

“Brad had his helmet off and tried to take the other guy’s helmet off, but it stuck on his finger,” Komets coach Al Sims said. “He threw a punch and hit the guy in the upper shoulder (or back) area. … It fell off his hand after that. But the fact that he accidentally struck the player with his helmet was the reason for the match penalty.”

The IHL’s vice president of hockey operations, Brad Jones, who will decide whether any discipline is warranted, declined to comment on the incident Monday. Jones also wouldn’t say whether his determination will be based on whether MacMillan’s use of the helmet was intentional or accidental.

“Brad saw it pretty much the same way everybody else did with it,” Sims said. “But accidental or not, if you hit a guy with a piece of the equipment, it warrants a suspension. How long it’ll be, we don’t know yet.”

MacMillan defended himself, saying it was an accident.

“I had no intention of beating a guy with his own helmet,” MacMillan said. “It was a case of him being a bigger guy and we’re in tight and I saw my window to punch and the helmet got caught on my hand. As soon as I realized it, I got it off my hand. … I’m not a dirty fighter. Hopefully, once Brad Jones looks at it, it won’t be more than one game (of suspension).”

Komets goaltender Tim Haun was suspended seven games by Jones for an attempt to injure match penalty Dec. 12, when he swung his stick baseball-style at Port Huron’s Derek Patrosso.

The third-place Komets (14-9-1) visit Muskegon on Saturday.