With the end of the regular season approaching and the competition for the few remaining play-off places growing ever fiercer, it is perhaps not surprising that the League’s referees have been kept extremely busy trying to ensure that tensions and passions do not spill over. However, four of the penalties awarded during Friday’s games in the Championship were handed out to those who had been punished for similar fouls earlier in the season, and as a result these players have incurred automatic one-game suspensions for repeat offending.
Barys defenseman Damir Ryspayev was judged to have been the instigator of the brawl which broke out near the end of his team’s defeat by Sibir in Novosibirsk. Ryspayev received his second major plus game misconduct penalty (5+20 minutes) of the season and is therefore suspended from the next game.
Earlier in the same game, Ryspayev’s team-mate, Oskars Bartulis, earned his third 10-minute penalty of the current campaign when he was punished for checking to the head and neck area following a hit on Sibir forward Sergei Shumakov.
The third repeat offender was Lada forward Fedor Fedorov, whose 19th-minute misconduct penalty (10 minutes) for slashing in the game against Ak Bars was his third of the season.
Finally, Alexander Shcherbina was one of five players punished after the mass brawl which erupted at the end of the HC Sochi vs. Vityaz game. This was the second time this season the Sochi forward had been handed a major penalty (5 minutes) for fisticuffs.