Danny Stewart has branded accusations that he was involved in a biting incident during Sunday’s match in Manchester as “false” and “disgusting”.
Storm’s Devin Didiomete is under investigation from the EIHL’s Department of Player Safety (DOPS) for his check to the head match penalty on Stewart, and subsequent off-ice attack on the Fife Flyers player associate-coach in the penalty box.
However, Manchester have also asked DOPS to investigate what they claim to be a biting incident involving Stewart, and say they have provided photographic evidence. DOPS are due to announce their findings today (Wednesday).
Stewart hit back at the allegations, stating: “I was just standing in front of their net minding my own business not doing anything when I’ve just been attacked.
“I’ve had my head rammed against the glass, and at that point the gloves have come off and there’s been a bit of scrapping on the ice.
“After that I thought it was done with - but he’s then walked over to the penalty box and threatened me.
“I’ve reacted by punching the glass then he’s reached over the top and hit me.
“To then find out I’m being reviewed is shocking to say the least. It’s a disgusting and very false accusation.
“I hope the league finds reason and comes up with a good solution to the issue. It’s caught me completely off guard.”
Didiomete is one of the most controversial characters in British ice hockey, racking up 169 penalty minutes in just half a season in Cardiff in 2012, while he already has 89 PIMs to his name in just 10 appearances for Manchester.
Stewart added: “Guys lose their cool - it’s happened to me before and I’ve no issues with that. As far as the accusations go I’m really offended. It’s disgusting to make false accusations to justify your actions.”
Stewart was speaking after a weekend that saw Flyers follow a 3-0 home win on Boxing Day with a 5-1 loss in Manchester on Sunday.
“Performance-wise I thought we played some good hockey we just didn’t take our chances,” he said.
“We had close to 100 shots over two games and scored just four goals, which is just not good enough.
“We have to find a way to be more clinical. We had some amazing chances in the first two periods on Sunday and if a couple of those go in it’s a different hockey game. We could’ve been leading 4-1 rather than being 4-1 down, but when you’re struggling to score it puts pressure on rest of your game.”
Flyers now head into three games in five days with a Hogmanay clash at Murrayfield against Edinburgh Caps on Thursday followed by the first match of 2016 on Saturday at home to Braehead Clan. Flyers then travel to Dundee Ice Arena on Sunday to face a Stars side they are looking to catch at the top of the conference.
Flyers could be without Michael Dorr, who missed both games last weekend, and Shayne Stockton, who is awaiting the results of a scan on his ribs after picking up an injury in Manchester.
“We can’t use it as an excuse,” Stewart added. “We have to find ways to pick up points in these games - it’s plain and simple.”
>> The DOPS decision will be covered online at www.fifetoday.co.uk