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Harms suspended for one game

Stars forward receives suspension

On Sunday night in Dundee, Stars forward Brendan Harms and Devils defenceman Marcus Crawford were involved in an altercation at the front of the net. 

As the video shows, the Stars are on the attack, with Crawford and Harms battling for position in front of the net in a normal hockey play. With Bowns freezing the puck and play stopped, Harms and Crawford continue to battle. This changes from being a normal hockey play when Crawford proceeds to use his hand to grab the visor of Harms and pull his head around. This action by Crawford was deemed worthy of a major and game misconduct penalty during the game, however did not rise to the level for supplemental discipline. As the players disperse from the altercation, Harms’s stick is dropped to the ice and Crawford uses his right skate to move the stick on the ice. Harms proceeds to throw a dangerous, gloved punch at Crawford, knocking him to the ice. 

While we acknowledge Harms's input that the sequence of events unfolded starting with the visor grab by Crawford and was then reignited when his stick was taken from his hands and Crawford kicking his stick, this does not excuse or minimise the severity of the punch by Harms on Crawford, who he was no longer engaged in a physical battle with, and Crawford being an unsuspecting and or an “unwilling combatant” While Crawford was not injured on this play, this type of punch by Harms has high potential to cause an injury an opponent who was unable to defend himself and what rises this play to the level of supplemental discipline. 

While Fighting is not encouraged, the Rulebook has sanctions that cover situations where two willing combatants engage. The Referees are provided very wide latitude in penalties they may impose under this rule. This is done intentionally to enable them to differentiate between the obvious degrees of responsibility of the participants either for starting the “fight” or persisting in continuing the “fight”. 

A Major Penalty and an automatic Game Misconduct Penalty (5’+GMP) shall be assessed to a Player who punches an unsuspecting or “unwilling combatant / opponent” (i.e., “sucker punch”) and could cause an injury.

To Summarise:

  • Dangerous Punch
  • Unsuspecting or “unwilling combatant / opponent
  • No History - Harms has neither been suspended nor fined during the 2023/24 EIHL season.

Effective immediately Dundee Stars #81 Brendan Harms is fined and suspended for one game.

Dundee were informed of this suspension on 22 February after additional video materials was received on 21 February.

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