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Sean Bentivoglio suspended for one game

Devils forward receives suspension for high sticking

An incident occurred in Cardiff on Sunday 24 November involving Cardiff Devils forward #85 Sean Bentivoglio on Belfast Giants forward #85 Liam Reddox, for which a high sticking 2+2 penalty was assessed by the Referee.

The incident was reviewed by the EIHL’s Department of Player Safety which determined that supplementary discipline is required under Category 1 – ‘Careless’ – insufficient attention or thought to avoid harm or error. It is liable to happen as a consequence of, or by intending to, affect an opponent through a reactionary or accidental motion; or the incident is deemed careless caused by negligence.

As the video shows, Liam Reddox gained puck possession and skated out of the defensive zone towards the neutral zone. Before reaching the neutral zone, Reddox made a cross-ice pass. Reddox, while in puck possession, is focused on his lane of skating and area to make a pass. Reddox may have been aware of the location and skating lane of Sean Bentivoglio, who is on the backcheck, but certainly unaware or unsuspecting of the tactic Bentivoglio used as a defensive means. When Reddox gained puck possession and began skating out of the defensive zone, Bentivoglio was located a short distance behind him.

As the play is moving towards the neutral zone, it is clear that Bentivoglio has more speed and is gaining distance on Reddox. At the same time as Reddox begins to make a pass, Bentivoglio makes a defensive play with his stick which is deemed illegal and dangerous. Bentivoglio made a choice to use his stick in a manner that caused contact with Reddox directly in the face, causing a significant injury. The stick of Bentivoglio, held in his right arm and to his right side, was swung in a sweeping manner to his left side.

The stick swing is a slash that ends as a high stick with direct stick to face contact. This is not deemed a good hockey play. A reckless and endangering stick swing is not the same as what constitutes the normal manner of high sticking incidents. 

This is neither incidental nor a stick lift or a self-defence manner of a high stick. It is deemed an overly aggressive swing of a stick in a slashing manner by a player who had no possibility of making a legal play. Bentivoglio is responsible for his stick and responsible for the manner and location of the contact his stick made on Reddox.

Injury is not the determining factor, but certainly is a factor. It can be considered Reddox made a very routine play out of his own zone; he is certainly not responsible for his injury and should not have to play with considerations of these types of plays occurring.

Bentivoglio must refrain from the use of his stick in an overly aggressive and dangerous manner for the purpose of defense.

Effective immediately, Cardiff Devils #85 Sean Bentivoglio is fined and suspended for one game.

Key References:

  • High Stick
  • Reckless and endangering
  • Caused a significant injury
  • Category 1 - Careless

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