Bolland's penalty infuriates Knights

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:32 AM ET

London general manager Mark Hunter is furious that Knights star David Bolland is serving a four-game suspension for kicking Attack player Mike Angelidis in Owen Sound on Saturday night.

Hunter opposed the OHL's decision yesterday to force Bolland, who leads the league with 11 playoff goals, onto the sidelines until a potential Game 7 on Monday in the Western Conference semifinal.

The former NHLer and Stanley Cup winner felt it was too much punishment, especially for the playoffs, and doesn't believe there was intent on Bolland's part to kick an opponent.

"In my opinion, it wasn't a kicking motion," Hunter said. "We don't want this on the kid's record. David Bolland's looking at, hopefully, a 15-year NHL career and you don't want to be known as the guy who kicked someone."

OHL referee-in-chief Ted Baker said the Chicago Blackhawks prospect received the minimum number of games for his infraction.

Two other players were suspended for kicking during the regular season -- Owen Sound goalie Michael Ouzas and Soo Greyhounds forward Tyler Kennedy -- and both received four games.

"The league is of the opinion that the on-ice official made the appropriate call in assessing player David Bolland a match penalty for kicking," OHL commissioner David Branch said in a release yesterday. "While there was contact made with the opposing player, fortunately there was no injury on the play. It is the position of the (OHL) that player David Bolland . . . be suspended for four games effective immediately."

Mark Hunter is concerned Owen Sound is taking liberties with London's skilled forwards and believes that's what fuelled the fateful series of events.

"Angelidis went after David Bolland and that's what started the whole scrum," Hunter said. "It's concerning to us. Owen Sound is going after our best players. On that play, (Attack tough guy) Theo Peckham was paired up with (Knights scoring star) Rob Schremp. Was that planned?"

Angelidis said his team tried to hit all of the Knights on Saturday and claimed Bolland started the fireworks by running Ouzas, the Attack goalie.

"I watched the tape about five times. It was a clear kick and I think four games is about right," Angelidis said. "I didn't expect it at all, but there's no way the linesman caused him to do it. He knew what he was doing and he caught me with a laser kick right in the crotch. But I'm all right. It's fine."

The OHL investigation included the on-ice officials' report. It also involved requesting additional camera angles from Rogers TV, which were provided.

Bolland sat out the first of his four games last night and Knights forward Josh Beaulieu returned after crashing into the Owen Sound net in Game 1.

"You don't replace a David Bolland, but it's an opportunity for some other guys who don't usually get a lot of ice time to step up," said London goalie Adam Dennis. "You need a team to win -- not just one guy. It's something we have to overcome, it's a challenge and we'll see if we're up to it."

London forward Kris Belan, serving a five-game suspension for a slur uttered at referee Darcy Burchell in Game 3 of the Knights' first-round series with Sault Ste. Marie, will return for Game 5 against Owen Sound Friday at the John Labatt Centre.


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