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Ice Chips

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Hodgman suspended 2 games

Well, I don't ever want to hear that the IHL office skews things in favor of the Komets again.

At least, not for a couple days.

The league has suspended Fort Wayne's Justin Hodgman, probably their best player in the playoffs so far, for two games. He slashed Port Huron's Nick Lindberg at the end of Sunday's 4-3 Icehawks victory, which gave Port Huron a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven semifinals.

Hodgman, the 2008 Turner Cup playoffs MVP, has three goals and six points.

"Justin was in the corner by himself and toward the end of the game, he went to the front of the net, wound up, took the stick above his head and came down with a baseball-like slash on the back of his leg," said Brad Jones, the IHL's vice-president of hockey operations. "Then there was a secondary slash, kind of at his stick while backing away."

Hodgman couldn't be reached for comment. Komets coach Al Sims declined to comment, but he told me David Hukalo will take Hodgman's place on the top line Wednesday night, alongside Colin Chaulk and Matt Syroczynski.

Sims will keep Leo Thomas with P.C. Drouin and Sean O'Connor. The third line will be Justin Chwedoruk, Mitch Woods and Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock.

There is no doubt Hodgman's talents are almost unparalleled in the IHL, but he needs to keep his emotions in check. I guarantee you that Icehawks coach Stan Drulia is the happiest guy around; he had been frustrated by his team's inability to contain Hodgman.

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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