Aquino faces possible suspension

February 29, 2008

Referee John Searle gave Luciano Aquino a high-sticking major and an attempt to injure match penalty during the second period. That means a player is automatically suspended until the league can rule on further discipline.

 Bloomington players seemed to target Aquino, the IHL’s third-leading scorer, from the start of the game. During the second period, the PrairieThunder’s Brett Holmberg skated 25 feet to hit Aquino from behind near the boards well after Aquino had released the puck. Play continued for several seconds with Holmberg dumping the puck in the Fort Wayne zone. As Holmberg turned to skate to the Bloomington bench, Aquino hit him across the chest with his stick. This started a melee when Bloomington’s Don Parsons came off the bench to attack Aquino from behind.

 “I don’t think it was vicious or anything,” Aquino said. “If it had been vicious, he would have been hurt. All game long they were trying to fight me.”

Originally Searle called Aquino from a cross checking major, but he changed his ruling after the second-period intermission. Holmberg’s hit on Aquino barely appears on the official game tape, and neither Aquino’s hit on Holmberg nor Parsons leaving the bench appear on the game tape.

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