London Knights defenceman Bryan Rodney will return from his suspension for the first game of the playoffs.
Rodney was suspended four games yesterday by the OHL for the match penalty he received late in the third period of Friday's 5-1 win over the Windsor Spitfires at the John Labatt Centre.
The Knights will open a best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final against the Guelph Storm a week tonight at the JLC, when Rodney will be eligible to play.
He was assessed the match penalty under the attempt-to- injure rule after using his stick to strike the Spitfires' Steve Downie on the head.
That penalty carries a minimum three-game suspension. But after a review of the videotape, an extra game was tacked on.
"It's apparent the contact to the head was not a malicious act, but it was still a non-tolerated illegal use of the stick with contact to the head," OHL director of hockey operations Ted Baker said from Toronto.
"The combination of the two warranted an additional game."
Rodney sat out Sunday's 9-1 win over the Erie Otters at the JLC.
Rodney will also miss three games this weekend -- tomorrow at home against Owen Sound, Saturday night in Plymouth, Mich., and Sunday night in Sault Ste. Marie -- as the Knights conclude their record-smashing regular season.
Rodney, a 20-year-old London native who joined the Knights in a trade from the Kingston Frontenacs last summer, is third among league defencemen with 62 points, including 23 goals.
He won the defencemen scoring title last season with 76 points, including 11 goals, for the Frontenacs.
Kitchener's Andre Benoit leads the blue-liners this season with 75 points, including 24 goals. Knights captain Danny Syvret is second with 66 points, including 23 goals.
The Knights want to turn the JLC into the "House of Green" for the playoffs and are asking fans to wear green shirts at postseason games.
The team has designed a playoff T-shirt that will sell for $10, with all proceeds going to Wellspring and Shoot for a Cure.
Wellspring is a support centre for cancer patients. Shoot for a Cure is also a cancer-related project.
KNIGHTS VS. STORM
BEST-OF-SEVEN WESTERN CONFERENCE QUARTER-FINAL
Thursday, March 24: Guelph at London, 7 p.m.
Friday, March 25: London at Guelph, 7:30 p.m.
Monday, March 28: Guelph at London, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 29: London at Guelph, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 31: Guelph at London, if necessary, 7 p.m.
Friday, April 1: London at Guelph, if necessary, 7:30 p.m.
Monday, April 4: Guelph at London, if nec., 7 p.m.