Fife Flyers coach Tom Coolen hit with suspension after bench row with referee

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Fife Flyers’ head coach Tom Coolen has been hit with a suspension after his ejection from Wednesday’s game at Nottingham.

The Department of Player Safety (DOPS) has issued a one game ban which means he cannot be on the bench for Friday’s road trip to Manchester Storm.

The automatic review followed two misconduct penalties in the dying seconds of the defeat at the hands of Panthers which saw him throw paper on to the ice, and send a water bottle spinning high into the air. DOPS said any further sanctions would be imposed if there were any further incidents this season.

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Flyers were informed earlier today of the suspension and have yet to announce who will run the bench for the next game. Coolen will return to take the helm on Sunday when Sheffield Steelers visit Fife Ice Arena.

Tom Coolen vents from the bench at Nottingham (Pic: Panthers Images)Tom Coolen vents from the bench at Nottingham (Pic: Panthers Images)
Tom Coolen vents from the bench at Nottingham (Pic: Panthers Images)

His wrath centred on the lack of a call for a penalty at a critical stage late in the game with the teams tied at 2-2, and Fife within three minutes of a potential point on the road. With 4:34 on the clock, Teemu Pulkkinen went in on goal, and, the view from the bench was that he was clearly hooked by defenceman Victor Bjorkung - and that, in their view, should have led to a powerplay or penalty shot. Less than one minute after the no call, Panthers grabbed a go-ahead goal, and then sealed the win with an empty net shot.

Video footage of the game clearly shows Coolen indicating he couldn’t hear the referee who stood some distance from the bench. He was handed a 20-minute misconduct penalty followed by a second as he left throwing a piece of paper on the ice, and a water bottle into the air which landed beside the bench.