February 27, 2019 1:59 pm

On Sunday 24/02/2019, an incident occurred, deemed as boarding. The incident was reviewed by the EIHL DOPS.

Upon review of the video footage, it has been determined by the EIHL DOPS that supplementary discipline is required. The incident is deemed as Category 1 – ‘Careless’ – insufficient attention or thought to avoid harm or error. It is liable to happen as a consequence of, by intending to, affect an opponent through a reactionary or accidental motion; or the incident is deemed careless caused by negligence.

With one second left in the game on a dead play, Coventry Blaze #22 Alex Nikiforuk made a play that is deemed reckless and endangering with a high potential of injury, deemed boarding. With the foot race to a loose puck, Nikiforuk – who is clearly a much slower skater and realising he is not going to win the foot race to the puck – made a choice to slow down and position himself directly behind Fife Flyers’ player, #13 Mike Cazzola. With Cazzola working hard and skating well, he is put in a position where he is unable to defend himself. The only thing saving Cazzola from a high potential of a serious injury is that his skate and body position upon contact creates an angle into the boards (instead of a 90 degree angle into the boards).

Nikiforuk, who losing the foot race, of his own accord positioned himself directly behind the opposing player. After locating behind and about to follow the opposing player into the boards (around the face off circle), he puts his right hand on the back of Cazzola. This alone should be an indication of backside contact and puts the onus on Nikiforuk to avoid a potentially dangerous and illegal action. The reason for supplementary discipline is that Nikiforuk put both hands on the back shoulder area of the opposing player – propelling him directly into the boards. The use of the hands, up high and directly to the back, a dangerous distance from the boards is deemed illegal and dangerous.

Effective immediately, Coventry Blaze #22 Alex Nikiforuk is suspended for 1 game.

Key Points:

  1. Boarding
  2. Propels player excessively into boards
  3. Use of hands, high and from behind
  4. Category 1 – Careless
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