Angry Belfast Giants coach Doug Christiansen has responded to the nine-match suspension imposed on Greg Stewart by launching an immediate appeal against the decision.
The Elite League's disciplinary committee banned Stewart after reviewing two separate incidents which occurred during the Giants' dramatic comeback victory over the Cardiff Devils on Sunday night.
And if the Giants appeal fails it could have a disastrous affect on their Elite League title hopes as they face losing their leading goalscorer for the next month
The 26-year-old forward, who fought with Cardiff player-coach Gerad Adams during the first period, has been handed a three-match suspension for a check to the head, with a further three after being deemed guilty of a kneeing offence.
The committee then went a step further and decided that the incidents were serious enough to have a further three matches added to the suspension, particularly as they happened in the same game.
"We have put forward a request to review the nine-match suspension handed out to Greg Stewart and because of that I can't make any comment on the incident or the suspension at this stage." said Christiansen.
"This is a very serious matter and it needs to be treated accordingly.
"I expect to be able to speak fully and publicly on the matter in the future after it is dealt with."
Earlier Kazakhstan beat France, who GB face today, 3-1 in the opening game of the tournament.