No official word seems to be coming on what sparked Montana Onyebuchi’s rage.
The 18-year-old Kamloops Blazers’ defenceman charged at 19-year-old Rockets’ forward Conner Bruggen-Cate early in the third period of a WHL game in Kelowna last Saturday.
He dropped his gloves and wanted to fight Bruggen-Cate, who did not shed his mitts and instead fell to the ice and curled up to protect himself from a flurry of punches.
The WHL on Tuesday handed both players two-game suspensions — Onyebuchi for a one-man fight and Bruggen-Cate for “actions during game versus Kamloops.”
KTW emailed the WHL asking for comment on Bruggen-Cate’s actions, the ones that led to his suspension.
“The WHL has no comment on the situation referenced,” the WHL replied.
The Blazers told KTW neither Onyebuchi nor the organization will comment on the incident.
Kamloops, two points back of Kelowna and jostling with the Rockets for third in the B.C. Division, will be without Onyebuchi, arguably its best rearguard, when the teams meet on Saturday at Sandman Centre.
Bruggen-Cate will be eligible to return to the Rockets’ lineup that night.
Onyebuchi can next play against the Victoria Royals in Kamloops on Feb. 13.
The Blazers (20-25-4-1) will play host to the Vancouver Giants (35-13-2-1) on Friday. Game time is 7 p.m. at Sandman Centre.
B.C. Division standings: Vancouver (73 points), Victoria (55 points), Kelowna (47 points), Kamloops (45 points) and Prince George (38 points).
Kamloops is one point behind the Seattle Thunderbirds, who hold the second and final wild card playoff position in the Western Conference.