The London Knights and Kitchener Rangers just can't make OHL commissioner David Branch go away.
Branch yesterday suspended Rangers forward Ryan Donally for five games and Knights forward Brandon Prust for three games as a result of separate incidents in Game 3 of the Western Conference final.
Donally hit Knights captain Danny Syvret, who played last night despite a stiff neck, into the boards. Prust nailed Rangers defenceman Matt Lashoff with an open-ice hit, causing Lashoff to suffer a concussion.
"First off, you hope Danny Syvret is all right," Rangers coach Peter DeBoer said before Game 4. "If he plays (last night), (the suspension) is probably too much."
DeBoer did compliment Branch on the Prust ruling, commenting on Branch's consistency on suspending players when there are blows to the head.
Said Knights general manager Mark Hunter: "I'm really disappointed in the (Prust) suspension and the whole process. I think there is a big difference between what Brandon did and what Donally did, and three games and five games. But (Branch) made the decision. I've got to live by the decision."
Branch, who has voiced his concern about the "sideshow" aspect of the series, earlier suspended the Knights' Josh Beaulieu for five games and has fined both teams.