OHL goalie gets big ban for ridiculous chop to the head

London Knights goalie Anthony Stolarz. (QMI Agency file photo)

London Knights goalie Anthony Stolarz. (QMI Agency file photo)

Ryan Pyette, The London Free Press

, Last Updated: 6:00 PM ET

Anthony Stolarz has been suspended for eight games.

The London Knights need Jake Patterson to be their No. 1 goalie once more.

Stolarz was punished by the OHL on Wednesday for hitting Windsor forward Josh Ho-Sang in the back of the head with his goalie stick in the first period of London's 10-2 win in Game 3 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series Tuesday night at WFCU Centre.

If the Knights finish off the series sweep Thursday in Windsor, Stolarz will be unavailable for a crucial second-round series, which could be against the regular season champion Guelph Storm.

Stolarz, the Philadelphia second-rounder and United States world junior netminder, received a two-minute high-sticking penalty on the play, but the league felt supplementary discipline was in order.

Stolarz said in a prepared statement, “I apologize for my actions on Tuesday night. It's an unfortunate situation and in no way did I intend to injure my opponent, Joshua Ho-Sang.”

Ho-Sang, penalized during the same stoppage for hacking Stolarz with his stick, retreated to the dressing room, but returned and scored and added an assist for the Spitfires.

Stolarz received twice as many games as Plymouth veteran forward Carter Sandlak, a London native who was handed a match penalty for a two-hander in Guelph last Friday.

Windsor head coach Bob Boughner called the Stolarz incident a “vicious, one-arm roundabout swing” and urged the league to review it. He compared it to Marty McSorley's two-handed to the head of fellow tough guy Donald Brashear in the NHL 14 years ago.

The Knights are comfortable with Patterson in net. He was the starter when Stolarz was at world juniors this year and also for a month-and-half when his teammate was nursing a 55-stitch leg cut.

Patterson won the final three games of last year's OHL final against Barrie.

“That's why we kept two 19-year-old goalies on our team this year,” London GM Mark Hunter said. “I thought Jake backed off his play when Stolarz came back (from injury), but he's been practising well and he's capable of winning games for us.”

ryan.pyette@sunmedia.ca

Twitter.com/RyanatLFPress

 


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