Sheffield Steelers' enforcer is banned after Battle of Nottingham

Zack Fitzgerald, out tomorrow
Zack Fitzgerald, out tomorrow

Zack Fitzgerald has been suspended by the Elite League and will miss tomorrow's game against Manchester Storm.

Steelers number 28 received a lengthy lecture from the Elite League Department of Player Safety about his part in a rumpus near the end of Sheffield's 5-0 win at Nottingham Panthers, midweek.

"With a fight in progress, Fitzgerald skated a long distance at a high rate of speed, dropped his stick well before the location of the altercation and was the 3rd man-in to the altercation" said DOPS.

"The rate of speed and approach into the fight was dangerous and certainly not and never will be considered part of the game.

"The actions of Fitzgerald are dangerous, performing a full tackle on a unsuspecting opponent.

"After being a 3rd man-in to the altercation, Fitzgerald broke free of the linesman and was involved in a secondary fight. Considering these actions, supplementary discipline is required.

"The actions of Fitzgerald are not part of the game, serve no purpose and again are not part of a requirement for a fight (two willing combatants)."

"After considering all of this, the Elite League Department of Player Safety has suspended Zack Fitzgerald for 1 game."

Panthers came off worse.

DOPS has suspended Mathieu Gagnon for two games. He "instigated a fight with (Cole) Shudra who is a non-willing combatant.

They said: "Gagnon approached from the back side of the opposing player. Regardless of how you want to define fighting – this is not a fight. A real fight is two willing combatants, not an unsuspecting approach on a non-willing player.

"After being engaged with Shudra, Gagnon then becomes engaged with another opposing player and again the opposing player was a non-willing combatant. In a third situation, Gagnon was involved in another fight."

After further deliberation of the incident: " no further action is required against Robert Farmer, Matt Marquardt or Cole Shudra."