The Komets had grown tired of a lack of punishment after their players had been at the wrong end of dirty hits.
But the CHL finally came down on an opponent, suspending Rapid City center Les Reaney from Thursday’s Game 4 of the Turner Conference semifinals for his hit-from-behind on David Starenky in a 3-1 Fort Wayne victory Wednesday.
Yeah, I thought the suspension was much deserved, Komets general manager David Franke said. The game has no place for teams to be hitting players in the head and causing injuries, or potentially causing injuries. Those plays can’t be tolerated, and the league said that with this.
Starenky didn’t play in the Komets’ 5-3 Game 4 win at Memorial Coliseum.
He just got a sore shoulder and neck from that hit and (coach Al Sims) thought it would be a good idea to let him heal, Franke said. And it gives us a chance to see the new kid (Daniel Maggio).
The CHL also fined Rush right wing Konrad Reeder, who blindsided Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock as he was celebrating the final goal of Game 3. The league didn’t announce the amount of the fine.
Franke entered the playoffs peeved after he had lost Brett Smith, Chris Auger and T.J. Miller to concussions at various points during the regular season, all after hits to the head. The only punishment for those hits was a one-game suspension for Bloomington’s Ryan Palmer, who hit Smith.
The Komets had three players suspended a total of 10 games during the regular season.
The Rush’s Jeff Kyrzakos hit Smith from behind in Rapid City’s 6-3 Game 1 win. The hit was similar to Reaney’s hit on Starenky.
Kyrzakos wasn’t called for a penalty, and the league didn’t punish him.
At least Reaney got a minor penalty, Sims said after Wednesday’s game.