Ice Hockey: McCaig given four-month ban for biting linesman

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The Independent Online
Superleague disciplinary chiefs yesterday banned the Newcastle Cobras defender Rob McCaig until 15 April and fined him pounds 1,000 for biting the Cardiff linesman Moray Hanson on his right arm last Thursday.

The incident occurred late in the Express Cup match and he was originally given a suspension of at least five games for roughing and gross misconduct for physical abuse of an official. But the league reviewed video evidence of the incident and decided that McCaig, a Canadian making his fifth appearance for the team, should be punished more severely. The British Ice Hockey Association has supported the judgement, ensuring that McCaig will not be eligible to play in any other British competition this season.

Sheffield Steelers' bruising battle with Nottingham Panthers on Sunday night is to be investigated by the disciplinary committee following a mass brawl which led to seven players being dismissed.

Punches were exchanged following a bench clearance in the third period with Steelers 4-0 down to Nottingham Panthers at the Sheffield Arena. Three home players - Corey Beaulieu, Scott Allison and Mike Ware - were dismissed by the referee Mike Rowe along with Panthers' Jeff Sebastian and Kraig Nienhuis.

Rowe dismissed both teams to their dressing-rooms for five minutes to cool off, but when play resumed, the Steelers captain, Rob Wilson, clashed with Derek Laxdal and both players were also ejected. A record 301 Superleague penalty minutes were handed out with Panthers going on to win 5-0. The previous record was 192 minutes.

The Steelers manager, Alex Dampier, said: "Sticks got up around the net and the next thing I knew, things had started. I felt they left the bench before we did. It's a bad thing to happen when you're losing. We'll get some suspensions out of it and deservedly so."

A Superleague spokesperson said: "All the video evidence will be studied, but everything depends on the referee's report. Once everything is collated it will then be sent to Richard Boprey [director of sport] and the disciplinary committee."

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