Vernon Viper captain Riley Brandt has been issued a 10-game suspension by the B.C. Hockey League.
Brandt, who has been suspended once prior in 157 regular-season games, was penalized by the league for a hit on Merritt’s Michael Van Unen in a game Saturday night at Kal Tire Place. Brandt received a charging major and two game misconducts after the referees huddled. Neither the front or back official originally called a penalty on the check.
“It’s an automatic four games and we are appealing the 10 games,” Viper head coach Mark Ferner told The Morning Star.
“I’ll wait the 48 hours in the appeal process before commenting further.”
Ferner did say it is not clear in video whether Van Unen struck his head on the glass after absorbing the check.
“It wasn’t a blindside hit and the kid put himself in a bad spot standing there watching the play. The initial point of contact was shoulder to head so the rule is muddy in that it becomes a penalty if the player hits his head on the glass or the ice afterwards.”
Brandt is a 5-foot-8, 195-pounder who is feared throughout the league for his heavy hits. The 19-year-old Trail product has five goals, 11 points and 34 penalty minutes this season.
Meanwhile, the Vipers have agreed to release forward Derek Osik to the Chilliwack Chiefs so they can get down to the maximum 22-man roster. Osik, 18, of Boston, had two goals and five points in 18 games.
Forward Nick Rasovic has come off injured reserve and will play for the Vipers on a three-game road trek starting Friday night in Duncan versus the Cowichan Valley Capitals. Rasovic, 20, of Port Moody, is a three-year veteran.