The Kingston Frontenacs will be without the services of star defenseman Erik Gudbranson and gritty forward Conor Stokes, as both were suspended by the OHL for hits from games this past weekend.
Gudbranson has been suspended indefinitely for his hit on J.P Labardo on Saturday night in Oshawa, after Labardo elbowed Fronts goaltender Philipp Grubauer in the net, sending the Fronts star goaltender’s helmet flying to the ice. This marked the second time in as many games that a member of the Generals had gone after Grubauer, as a week earlier, Emerson Clark jumped and began to fight with Grubauer. On Saturday night, after Labardo’s hit on Grubauer, Gudbranson clobbered Labardo behind the net with a high hit and then began to fight. “That’s character. Erik went right at (Labardo) because he hit our goaltender.” Unfortunately, that’s going to cost him some games,” said Fronts Head Coach Doug Gilmour. Gudbranson was given a charging major penalty and fighting major penalty on the play and as mentioned as been suspended indefinitely.
Not gone without punishment, is J.P Labardo, who was suspended five games for his elbow head check on Grubauer. Labardo was given a five minute major for head checking and a five minute fighting major as well.
Stokes was assessed a three game suspension for a hit on Saginaw defenseman Peter Hermenegildo behind the Saginaw net on Sunday afternoon. Stokes was skating in looking for the big hit, when Hermenegildo attempted to get out of the way and Stokes knee hit Hermengildo, sending the Spirit defenseman to the ice. Hemenegildo left the game and did not return and Stokes was given a five minute major for kneeing.
Also in the Saginaw game, Spirit forward Garrett Ross was given a six game suspension for jumping Fronts forward Nathan Moon off a face-off and then proceeding to give Moon a knee to the back of head on the way up after the scrum had concluded.
In total, there was a minimum of 14 games of suspensions handed out from the Fronts final two games on the weekend, not counting the indefinite suspension to Gudbranson, who has already served a five game suspension earlier this season for a head check against the Ottawa 67’s prior to the World Junior Tournament.
The Fronts are back in action tonight against the Belleville Bulls and then return home on Friday night VS Peterborough for the first ever, get swabbed hockey night, where you could be a match and save a life.