A suspension will knock Cariboo Cougars defenceman Stephen Penner out of the Major Midget League all-star game.
Penner was handed a five-minute major for boarding, plus a game misconduct, in his team's 3-2 Sunday win at CN Centre against the North Island Silvertips. The penalty happened halfway through the third period and carried with it a one-game ban.
Normally, Penner would miss one league game, and he will in fact sit out Saturday in Langley when the Cougars take on the Greater Vancouver Canadians. But, as per B.C. Hockey rules, he can't play in the all-star contest -- Friday night in Langley -- while under suspension.
Cariboo head coach Trevor Sprague is disappointed for Penner but knows nothing can be done to change the situation.
"That's the way it goes," Sprague said. "It's part of the game and something he's going to have to deal with. He's playing with an edge and finishing his checks."
Unfortunately, the North Island player was caught in no-man's land -- a foot or two off the boards -- at the time Penner made contact.
The 17-year-old Penner is listed at six-foot-five and 190 pounds. In 28 games this season, he has five goals, 16 points and 71 penalty minutes.
Penner was one of six Cougars originally selected for participation in the all-star game. The others are Nathan Warren, Braiden Epp, Nick Headrick, Liam Blackburn and Ryan Forbes. Penner was slated to play on Team Red with Warren and Epp. Headrick, Blackburn and Forbes will all skate for Team White.
Sprague will serve as an assistant coach for Team White and Cougars trainer Rick Brown will also be part of the Team White staff.
Like Penner, Cariboo forward Tyler Povelofskie will miss Saturday's game against the Canadians because of a suspension. Povelofskie was handed a fighting major and a game misconduct in Sunday's third period against the Silvertips.
Pettitt may miss rest of season
Riley Pettitt, a 16-year-old forward for the Cougars, is sidelined indefinitely with a knee injury.
Pettitt was hurt during a Jan. 6 home game against the Valley West Hawks when Hawks player Jake Fletcher, who was coming off the bench, caught him with a knee-on-knee hit. Pettitt suffered suspected ligament damage and was scheduled to see a doctor on Wednesday.
Sprague said Pettitt will probably be out of action until at least the second round of the playoffs, should the Cougars make it that far.
With Pettitt on the shelf, the Cougars brought Jordan Low up from the Coast Inn of the North midget Tier 1 Cats for the games against the Silvertips. Cariboo players Kirk Hards (bruised ribs), Bryan Allbee (bruised foot) and Donovan Law (charleyhorse) were also unavailable for duty and their roster spots were filled by affiliated players Cole Slaney and Keith Redden.
Hards, Allbee and Law should all be ready for action this weekend. The Cougars, however, will pick up Quesnel-based forward Jesse Roach, a prospect of the Western Hockey League's Vancouver Giants. Roach, a six-foot-three centreman, is the brother of former Cariboo defenceman Alex Roach.