After getting blown out by the Brandon Wheat Kings in game 1 of the WHL’s Eastern Conference finals yesterday night, the Calgary Hitmen will be in tough to tie the series back up, as they will be without the services of Jake Virtanen. Vancouver’s 6th overall draft pick this past summer has reportedly been suspended for a “to be determined” amount of time for a headshot in the dying moments of the Hitmen’s huge loss.
For a look at the play that got Virtanen in trouble with the league, read past the jump.
The WHL revealed that Virtanen had been suspended for an infraction committed some time in game 1 of the Calgary-Brandon series, however they haven’t yet specified the length of Virtanen’s suspension, nor did they explicitly state what Virtanen was suspended for. However, it seems pretty obvious that if Virtanen has been suspended, it’s for this hit to the head of Wheat Kings C Tanner Kaspick:
Video via @WinThaGame on Twitter
The incident occurred early in the 3rd period with the Hitmen already down 7-3. Virtanen was assessed two minutes for charging on the play – his only penalty minutes of the night.
Virtanen is having a solid playoffs with 5 goals and 8 assists in 13 games, however the Hitmen are being carried offensively by Virtanen’s linemate and over-age New York Rangers prospect Adam Tambellini, who leads the WHL with 22 points in 12 games.
Virtanen does lead the WHL playoffs in penalty minutes with 26 in 13 games. All of his penalties have been 2-minute minors. Hitmen head coach Mark French was also ejected and fined $1,000 for this fantastic meltdown:
WOW! Stay classy Calgary Hitman! The last time I seen a whl coach get kicked out of a game was the Red Deer Rebels coach about 15 years ago. And yes it was in Brandon against the WHEAT KINGS! GO WHEAT KINGS GO!
Posted by Jon Ward on Friday, April 24, 2015