Junior Hockey / News

Suspensions shake up conference finals

Ivan Prosvetov received a five game suspension from the OHL. (Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images)

Things were looking pretty good for the Saginaw Spirit after a pair of wins on home ice to open the Western Conference Finals. But a pair of suspensions in the game two win could have some serious implications going forward.

Starting goalie Ivan Prosvetov received an automatic five game suspension for firing the puck over the glass after the whistle.

From the OHL, “an automatic game misconduct assessed to goaltender Ivan Prosvetov of the Saginaw Spirit Hockey Club for batting a puck into the spectator area at a stoppage of play.”

It’s an unfortunately and untimely thing to have happen to your starting goalie, but is a rule OHLers should be more than familiar with. Two other players received the five-game ban after similar plays this season where the puck was shot into the stands after the whistle.

One of those players is a current teammate of Prosvetov’s.

While with the Mississauga Steelheads earlier this season, Owen Tippett was suspended for flipping a puck to a fan after the whistle. In this case, it turned out to be a foam puck. That may have been a factor as the league lowered his suspension lto allow him to participate in the World Junior Hockey Championship.

Making matters worse for the Spirit, overage Dman Justin Murray received a four game suspension for an elbow on Guelph forward MacKenzie Entwistle, who missed the rest of game two, including overtime.

Murray is eligible to return for game seven if the series goes the distance, while Prosvetov wont be back until the OHL finals, if the Spirit get there.

Tristan Lennox will be the guy between the pipes in the meantime, the 16-year-old made 41 saves in a 5-2 game three loss, but looked very good for a young player thrust into the spotlight. He was a second round pick of the Spirit in 2018 OHL draft, and also represented Canada at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

The Eastern Conference Final hasn’t been immune to suspensions but this one wont likely have as big of an impact in the series as in the west.

Oshawa overage forward Anthony Salinitri received a six game suspension for a late shot on Marco Rossi.

As you can see in the video, the hit was late, and Rossi had never touched the puck.

Ottawa leads the series 3-0, which means the the 20-year-old Salinitri could very likely see his OHL career come to an end while serving a suspension.

The 67’s are a perfect 11-0 to start the post season, so I don’t see this suspension really swaying things too much, if anything it gives the regular season champs even more of an edge.

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