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Page last updated at 12:49 GMT, Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Panthers/Blaze punished for bench-clearing brawl

Bench clearance brawl in Coventry
Four players were thrown out following a bench clearance brawl in Coventry

Nottingham Panthers' Danny Meyers and Coventry Blaze's Brad Cruikshank have been handed seven and nine-games bans after Saturday's brawl at the Skydome.

Meyers was one of five Panthers men banned following the bench-clearing bust-up during the Elite League clash.

Alex Penner was banned for five games, Jade Galbraith and Marc Levers one game and bench coach David Graham got three.

Blaze coach Paul Thompson was handed a two-game ban, while Aaron Nell was also handed a one-match suspension.

This is the biggest collective punishment dished out since the Elite League was formed in 2003.

And Nottingham were the harder hit, with four of their players banned, to Coventry's two.

Meyers was handed a one-match ban for excessive rough play, added to which, as per Elite League suspension tariffs, was an additional one-match penalty.

But, after a supplementary discipline review, the Panthers captain was also handed an extra five-match ban for a blindside hit on Coventry netminder Brett Jaeger - to make a total of seven matches.

But Canadian winger Cruikshank's nine-game ban (the first of which was served the following night) was the biggest.

He was awarded two match penalties, one for obscene gestures and one for excessive roughness, doubled up to four matches, as per Elite League suspension tariffs.

But, after being thrown out of the game, he was also handed a further five matches for deliberately charging at Nottingham netminder Craig Kowalski, who could now be sidelined through injury for over a month.

The two teams are due to meet again in the league in Nottingham on 8 February.

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