Pickin’ Splinters staff
Utica Comets defenseman Robbie Russo has been suspended for Tuesday night’s North Division semifinal game against the Rochester Americans.
The suspension is punishment for his illegal check to the head of Amerks captain Michael Mersch in the closing seconds of the third period. The American Hockey League announced the disciplinary action on Tuesday morning.
The Amerks used the ensuing power play to produce Arttu Ruotsalainen’s winning goal 1:39 into overtime, which gave Rochester a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five Calder Cup playoff series.
The Amerks have a chance to eliminate Utica, the regular season division champion, when the puck drops at 7:05 p.m. at Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial.
Amerks coach Seth Appert was angry about Russo’s hit, especially since his captain can’t play tonight.
“That was a dirty, predatory hit,” Appert said on Monday. “There’s been enough of those against us in both series. I’m certainly sick of seeing it and I hope the league does something about it.”
Russo has had a hand in four of Utica’s 12 goals in the series with 2 goals and 2 assists.