Belfast Giants captain Matt Pelech suspended for two matches
The Belfast Giants will have to contend without captain Matt Pelech for the time being after the defenseman was given a two-match suspension for his hit on Bili Tygri Liberec forward Jan Ordos in last night’s 6-1 loss.
Pelech issued the hit on Ordos just 1:26 into the first period, receiving a four-minute penalty for charging and knocking the Czech forward out of the game when the Giants were already 1-0 down.
Now they will feel the repercussions of that with their captain now out of action for the next two matches, starting with Sunday’s fourth Group C game against Augsburger Panther at the Curt-Frenzel-Stadion (face-off 4pm UK time).
The Giants are already short a blue-liner with Jesse Forsberg out injured, thanks to a hit from Liberec forward Michal Bulir in last week’s game in Belfast, with Mark Garside filling in on the back end in his absence.
Now they will have to take on the physical Germans with just five defencemen and also down a forward too, making an already tough task even harder, with the side likely needing a result to stand a chance of reaching the knockouts.
It is unclear whether Pelech’s suspension will apply to only Champions League games or whether it will also carry over to domestic games as well.
If the ban was to carry over to domestic affairs, then Pelech would miss the Giants’ first Challenge Cup game against the Glasgow Clan next Saturday. If not, then he will be absent for their home game against Swedish side Luleå on October 8.
The Canadian defenseman has also been ordered to pay a €1200 fine for the hit.
Last night’s defeat sees the Giants remain on four points in a tight Group C in the Champions League, tied at the top with Augsburger and Luleå, who are in action today in Germany.
Belfast Telegraph Digital