An ugly incident in the Southern Professional Hockey League has led to Knoxville Ice Bears defenseman Jason Price being suspended for the rest of the regular season and playoffs.
Late in the third period of Saturday’s game against the Huntsville Havoc, Price fired a puck into the Huntsville bench, injuring Havoc trainer Jason Lopez. The SPHL ruled he did so deliberately and issued the suspension on Wednesday.
Knoxville head coach Mike Craigen was also suspended for four games and fined.
Ashley Balch, the president of the Havoc, said Thursday that the puck hit Lopez in the right ear. Balch said Lopez “still has ringing in his ear and hearing loss in his right ear.”
Price was given a match penalty in what was a feisty affair that ended 6-2 in favor of the Havoc. Price’s firing of the puck came two minutes after a line brawl that also featured both goaltenders mixing it up.
— Huntsville Havoc (@HuntsvilleHavoc) March 13, 2017
The Ice Bears have 10 games left in their regular season and have already clinched a playoff berth.
UPDATE: From Dave Eminian of the Peoria Journal Star:
The Journal Star has confirmed, through Huntsville Police, that Lopez filed a police report. The police say that report has been passed on to its detectives for investigation of a potential assault-1 charge, which in Alabama is a felony.
No charges or arrests have been made, and the detectives have not yet determined if the case will be accepted for investigation. At this stage, it’s only a police incident report.
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