If Barrie Colts captain Stefan Della Rovere used a racial slur to set off Kain Allicock's attack in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference playoff series between the rival squads, the hard-nosed Sudbury Wolves forward isn't saying.
Allicock and Wolves teammate Jared Staal were handed five-game suspensions each for their transgressions during Game 3 and won't be in uniform when the series resumes with Game 4 Wednesday night at Sudbury Community Arena at 7:30 p.m.
The Colts didn't escape punishment from OHL commissioner David Branch,
Forward Zac Rinaldo was handed a 12-game suspension for his blindside, predatory hit on Marcus Foligno.
Reports had surfaced that Della Rovere used a racial slur, namely the n-word, to provoke Allicock prior to a faceoff, causing Allicock to go after the Barrie forward. However, Allicock only offered a "no comment" when directly asked about the accusation, which was reported in other media outlets.
"I did what I did and the league came down with some action and it has been a rough series and things happen out there," Allicock said prior to practice at Countryside Arena on Tuesday afternoon. "It's an intense games and they were taking liberties with our guys like Rinaldo's hit on Foligno and some things were said and I guess I might of overreacted, but something has to be done about them trying to take liberties with our guys."
Speaking to The Star following Sunday's Game 3, Wolves head coach/GM Mike Foligno said "there were some undignified comments made by the opponents and our players responded to those comments.
"There were incidents on the ice I will report to the league and we'll see what comes out of it," apparently referring to the Allicock-Della Rovere situation.
The Colts issued a statement on Monday, saying the Wolves' claim was "pure fabrication."
That the Wolves and Colts carry a genuine dislike for each other, as evidenced by the mini brawl at the end of Game 2 in Sudbury, is nothing new to fans of either team. However, Branch has seen enough.
"We reviewed the reports and video fo the incidents in question and we found the actions most disturbing and unacceptable in terms of what we deem appropriate and we chose to assess five games to both players," he said of the suspensions to the Wolves players. "Zac Rinaldo gone for 12 games for similar reasons.
"It's unfortunate (these incidents) have cast a shadow over the series in terms of certain displays of conduct," Branch continued. "We've got two teams with a lot of talent and a lot to offer and there's no need to present the game in the context of some of the incidents we've seen."
Branch spoke with both respective coaches Tuesday.
"I had a discussion with Foligno and (Marty) Willamson and both understand where the league is at and what our expectations are they share those views and thoughts," Branch said. "We're not going to try to warn them or anything of that nature. We are in this together and feel confident we will move forward with the series."
Foligno is satisfied with how the league has dealt with the transgressions by both teams.
"There were some things, but those are tough things to deal with and the league is dealing with them," he said. "I think some of the Barrie players went overboard with some of the things that were being done and said and our players are obviously going to respond when that kind of taunting or other implications come into play.
"I think the biggest thing is that when emotions get high and some things are done and said that both teams have to realize there are rules we have to abide by and make sure for our own sake that we conform to those rules and play within those guidelines and make sure we get back to not getting distracted by things that are not going to determine the outcome of the game and really get focused on things that are going to help us win."
Foligno also took issue with the national media, namely Canada's two major sports television networks,
"I think that there are people that are saying things that haven't even seen any of the games and so they can't really comment," he said. "They are going on one little incident that's on video and there are a lot of circumstances that revolve around these things, so we'd like nothing more than to have them all talk about how we came back from a 3-0 deficit to beat Barrie and that's our focus for (tonight)."