Fife Flyers enforcer Matt Nickerson has been hit with a four game ban - and is OUT of this weekend’s crucial games against Braehead and Edinburgh.
He was suspended by the EIHL’s Department of Player Safety after being thrown out of the chaotic penalty-riddled game against Sheffield Steelers on Sunday.
Nickerson, who has played some of his most disciplined hockey this season, was handed a match penalty for piling into a goalmouth melee early in the third period.
It was his first ejection of the campaign.
In reviewing footage of the incident - which followed a second period littered with penalties - DOPS clearly viewed Nickerson’s actions as unacceptable.
It said he ‘‘skates from distance to join an altercation which he was not involved in. He instigates the situation with Steelers’ Cullen Eddy, along with further altercations with Sheffield players.
‘‘The punch to the head of Eddy, while he is on the ice, is a dangerous action with no regard for the opposition player’s safety.
’’Nickerson is clearly the aggressor, attempting to inflict punishment on a player who is on the ice in a vulnerable position and is unable to protect himself as a result of his initial actions.
‘‘Eddy is an unwilling combatant.
‘‘Nickerson joins further altercations with Steelers players and continues to throw multiple punches while being restrained by the officials.’’
The suspension means Fife will ice tonight (Tuesday) and across the weekend minus Nickerson and the influential Kyle Haines who was injured on Sunday - the club has yet to confirm the extent of his injury or length of absence.
Flyers are on a five-game losing streak and have slipped down to ninth in the standings.