Hounds want top-rated Hall punished

PETER RUICCI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:04 AM ET

Though Fridays injury to Nick Cousins will force the rookie centre to possibly miss just one game, the Soo Greyhounds believe Windsor Spitfires winger Taylor Hall deserves a league-imposed suspension.

Late Friday night, the team sent video of an incident involving Hall, touted by scouts as the likely top pick in the NHL draft, and Cousins in that evenings Essar Centre contest to Ontario Hockey League vice-president Ted Baker.

After being hit from behind by Hall late in the first period, the 16-year-old Cousins left the game bleeding profusely with a deep cut to his nose.

Hall received a double minor for checking from behind while Cousins required 21 stitches to close the cut.

X-rays of Cousins face and neck proved negative.

We believe it is the type of hit that warrants a suspension, said Hounds general manager Dave Torrie, whose team played without Cousins Sunday, losing 4-0 to the saginaw Spirit here. We believe Hall deserved a five-minute major and game misconduct. Weve asked the league to review it and believe there should be disciplinary action taken.

Torrie said he expects an answer from the OHL sometime this week.

Meantime, Cousins said Sunday his nose was feeling better.

It doesnt hurt the way it did when it first happened, said the Belleville, Ont., native, who hopes to return to the lineup Saturday, when the Soo entertains Niagara. Im feeling pretty good. But it was definitely scary when it happened. Ive never been cut like that and I definitely didnt want to look at it in the mirror.

Cousins, who thinks he was cut when his face contacted the boards, said the doctor who treated him at Sault Area Hospital believed the injury could have been much worse.

He said that I was pretty lucky, said Cousins, who has eight goals and 18 assists in 56 games after being selected in the second round (21st overall) of the 2009 draft. The cut runs across my nose, but nothing is broken.

Recalling the incident, the first-year player said he and teammate Jake Carrick were in a corner in the offensive zone, battling two Windsor players for possession of the puck.

He said Hall wasnt involved in the play, but came over and knocked him into the boards.

It was a dirty hit, it was a blatant hit from behind, Cousins said. He (Hall) definitely should have gotten a five-minute major.

Once Cousins was taken from the ice, Hounds head coach Denny Lambert questioned referees Dave Lewis and Joe Celestin about the decision to hand Hall a double minor.

I was told Cousins turned before he was hit, said Lambert, who disagreed with that assessment.

So did Cousins.

Theres no way I was turning, the player said.


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