'We didn't consider it to be a late hit,' says OHL VP
Barrie Colts forward Anthony Camara has received a three-game suspension for shooting a puck after the whistle in the second period of Saturday night's game in Barrie. Camara had initially received a slashing penalty on the play against the Kingston Frontenacs. MARK WANZEL PHOTO
The London Knights bit their tongues.
With next year's Memorial Cup decision on hold and a tight Ontario Hockey League final unfolding, the defending champs refrained from slamming the league for allowing Barrie forwards Anthony Camara and Erik Bradford to play in Game 3 of the championship series Monday after dangerous hits in London's 4-1 win Sunday night at Budweiser Gardens in London.
“It's a league decision,” London GM Mark Hunter said. “It is what it is. Nothing I can do about it. We move on.”
Knights head coach Dale Hunter originally suggested Camara's third-period hit, which left London star Max Domi with a nasty shiner, was the kind of play OHL commissioner David Branch has been trying to remove from the junior game.
“It was a hit you wish he'd take back,” Hunter said. “I watched the replay on it and he left his feet and he hit the head. It's one of those things that after you do it, you realize that you shouldn't have did it.”
Camara was handed a five-minute major penalty for charging and game misconduct.
The league reviewed the play and believes the charge – not a head check – was the proper call. There was not sufficient video evidence to suggest contact with the head.
“We didn't consider it to be a late hit,” OHL vice-president Ted Baker said. “He (Camara) got there within a steamboat of Max (Domi) chipping the puck out of the zone. He didn't skate a long distance to make the hit and what we saw was his right skate was still on the ice on contact and the impact was what caused both of his skates to leave the ice.”
Baker called Bradford's second-period cross-check on London defenceman Dakota Mermis while he retreated on a puck during an icing call “concerning” but no suspension was warranted for it.
“That's very dangerous,” Dale Hunter had said of the Bradford hit. “That's how D (defencemen) going back for pucks break legs so that's not a hit you want anybody to take.”
The Knights didn't come out of that play with the man advantage after Nikita Zadorov and Josh Anderson stepped in to defend their teammate.
London did enjoy seven power plays in that pivitol period. On the Camara major penalty, they surrendered their lone goal shorthanded to former Knight Andreas Athanasiou.