The Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning will have defenceman Martin Mazanec available for tonight's home game against the Cardiff Devils.
Mazanec was given a match penalty in last night's 6-5 road trip loss to Cardiff, but the Department of Player Safety has made the decision to downgrade Mazanec's penalty - meaning he will not receive the automatic one-game suspension that goes along with match penalties.
Review of the penalty deemed that Mazanec had not made contact with an opposing player and should have received a double minor penalty, sending him to the box for four minutes rather than an outright ejection.
The full Department of Player Safety statement reads: "On 16/02/2019 Milton Keynes Lightning’s #10 Martin Mazanec was assessed a Match Penalty for Head-Butting.
"All Match Penalties carry an automatic one-game suspension and are automatically reviewed by the EIHL’s Department of Player Safety. In this instance, the DOPS decided that supplementary discipline was not needed.
EIHL Rule 142, covering Head-Butting, states:
- A player who attempts to headbutt will be assessed a Double Minor Penalty
- A player who succeeds in headbutting an opponent will be assessed a Match Penalty
In the view of the DOPS Panel, the call on the ice should have been 2+2, and not the Match Penalty assessed. The records will be adjusted to reflect this, and therefore no automatic suspension will be applied."
With the Lightning seemingly losing Radek Meidl (upper-body) to a long-term injury, having Mazanec available will be a much-needed boost for the team's home game.
The Devils, meanwhile, have seen Sean Bentivoglio handed a two-game suspension for the check to the head of Robbie Baillargeon in last night's game.
The two sides get things underway at 5:15 pm at Planet Ice MK Arena this evening.