The American Hockey League dropped the hammer on Tuesday afternoon handing out a three game suspension to Rochester Americans defenseman Andrew MacWilliam for an incident in game two of the playoffs. The suspension is supplementary and a follow up for his actions in the game.
At the end of the second period with emotions high he had left the ice to the tunnel and then came back out onto the ice for an altercation. The on ice officials should have immediately handed out penalties but didn’t.
Here’s the leagues announcement:
Rochester Americans defenseman Andrew MacWilliam has been suspended for three (3) games as a consequence of his actions in a playoff game at Syracuse on Apr. 21.
MacWilliam was suspended under the provisions of AHL Rule 28.1 (supplementary discipline). He will miss Rochester’s next three games beginning with Game 3 of the North Division Semifinals, Wednesday (Apr. 25) vs. Syracuse.
(If Rochester is eliminated before the suspension can be served to completion this postseason, remaining games would carry over to the next time MacWilliam is active on an AHL club roster.)
“Rule 70 – Leaving the Bench” does state that leaving the players bench or penalty box for the purpose of an altercation is an automatic three game suspension. Technically he left the tunnel which isn’t connected to the bench, sounds like an amendment to the rule book needs to be made. We can call it the MacWilliam amendment rule 70.11 – coming back to the ice from the players tunnel when the tunnel is not connected to the bench. Three games seems outrageous but in the era where they continue to try and eliminate as many “altercations” as possible this is the current rule.
With everything that happened in the first two games for this to be the only “supplementary discipline” seems pretty wild. Hits to the head, spears to the groins and high sticks causing stitches just to name a few incidents.
The announcement happened after morning interviews were already over, will try and get a reaction on Wednesday morning.
MacWilliam has been a key to the Amerks success all season as a big defensive defenseman. That leaves an opening on defense for game three on Wednesday night and the two healthy defensemen are Nathan Paetsch and Will Borgen.
Nathan Paetsch was on the Calder Cup winning Grand Rapids Griffins last season. He was also a part of the 2015 Griffins that were down by two games in the first round and won the next three to advance to round two.
Game 3 of the first round best of 5 series is Wednesday night at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, NY. The Amerks are down by two games but not out of it yet.