Wichita Thunder defenseman Steve Makway has been suspended for the remainder of the season by the Central Hockey League for two penalties he received at the end of a game last week. The suspension will cover 12 games, equaling the longest suspension the CHL has handed out this season.
At the end of the Thunders 7-1 loss at Mississippi on Friday, Makway was called for a slash and a cross check. The slash was the more serious penalty, the league said. The slash was described by the CHL as a two-handed baseball type of slash that was done with an intent to injure. The cross check, the league said, was more reactionary.
Thunder general manager Joel Lomurno said the suspension was too harsh. He thought four to six games would have been more appropriate.
"I think the slash was very bad but the cross check was incidental, not worth 12 games considering both players for Mississippi played the next night. On the flip side, (Arizona' Linus) Fagemo hits Mark Adamek from behind and gets one game when Mark is probably done for the season.
"But what can we do? We accept the punishment and we will move forward. I am sure Steve regrets his actions."
Hurtin' on defense — Injuries continue to decimate the Thunder blueline, leaving the already-struggling team in a desperate situation entering the final stretch of the season.
Mark Adamek (shoulder), J.R. Bria (groin), Brett Beauchamp (concussion) and A.J. Bozoian (knee) are likely out for the final nine games of the year, Lomurno said.
The Thunder added 6-foot defenseman Joe DeBello. He played at Colgate and 43 games in the Southern Professional Hockey League, scoring six points.
"We continue to look for bodies, but defensemen are very difficult to find," Lomurno said.
Rapid City 6, Wichita 4 — The Thunder fell behind 4-0 and never managed to climb out of the hole in Rapid City, S.D. The teams play again tonight.
Wichita0 3 1 — 4 Rapid City 3 2 1 — 6
First period — 1. RC, LeBlanc (Grimson) 5:20. 2, RC, Reaney (VanderVeeken) 8:30. 3, RC, Campbell (King, VanderVeeken) 16:10. Penalty — Fritshaw, RC, (Cross Checking), 9:07.
Second period — 4, RC, King (Jarvis, Wray) 11:38. 5, Wichita, Clark (Thompson, Strome) 11:54. 6, RC, Campbell (Hansen, Cook) 13:12. 7, Wichita, Klempa (Hanson, McAllister) 15:38. 8, Wichita, Hanson (McAllister, Klempa) 17:51. Penalty — Campbell, RC, (Interference), 4:00.
Third period — 9, Wichita, Klempa (Hanson, McAllister) 7:46. 10, RC, Hansen (King, Jarvis) 19:31 (en). Penalties — Debello, Wichita, (Hooking), 3:00; King, RC, (Elbowing), 3:53; Wray, RC, (Hooking), 15:31; Campbell, RC, (Interference), 16:53.
Power plays — Wichita 0-5, Rapid City 0-1.
Shots — Wichita 4-6-8—18; Rapid City 18-16-14 — 48.
Goalies — Wichita, Campbell 12 shots, 9 saves, Keserich 35-33; Rapid City, Battochio 18-14.
Referee—Peter Friesema. Linesmen— Seth Mukai, Butch Mousseaux. T— 2:20. A— 4,266.