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January 03. 2013 12:00AM

Monarchs' Andreoff suspended


ANDREOFF 
Manchester Monarchs rookie forward Andy Andreoff was suspended for three games by the American Hockey League on Wednesday for his hit to the head of Worcester's Curt Gogol in Monday's 3-2 Sharks win at the Verizon Wireless Arena.

Andreoff was given a 5:00 major and a game misconduct after the incident, which occurred at center ice and away from the play in the second period of Monday's game.

Gogol lay motionless on the ice for several minutes and was loaded onto a back board and wheeled off the ice. The fans at the Verizon cheered as Gogol gave a thumbs-up sign that he was all right while being wheeled out.

The Sharks posted an update on their website on Wednesday saying that Gogol is resting at his apartment in Worcester and is expected to make a full recovery.

Attempts to speak with Sharks coach Roy Sommer resulted in a "no comment" being issued by Sommer through Eric Lindquist, Worcester director of public relations and broadcasting.

Monarchs head coach Mark Morris condemned Andreoff's hit after the game on Monday.

"It's not something we condone, that's for sure," Morris said. "We hope their player is fine. It's not the way we want to be represented."

The game had been chippy up until Andreoff's hit, with physical play and body checks flying, but no fights. The Sharks and Monarchs have a recent history of bad blood and last season's meetings between the teams resulted in an average of more than two fights per game.

Gogol is a frequent sparring partner for Manchester's Rich Clune, but Clune was a healthy scratch on Monday along with enforcer Justin Johnson since some of the Sharks tough guys were out of the lineup, such as the injured Sena Acolatse.

A review of the hit via the Monarchs' game tape was inconclusive. The collision happened at neutral ice while the puck had gone deep into the Worcester end. Andreoff appeared to pull his stick away to avoid hitting Gogol, but then extended his elbow and made contact with Gogol's head.

It's possible that since the video was inconclusive it resulted in the AHL not handing out a longer suspension. Suspensions of 5-10 games are often the case when a player is hurt on the play and unable to leave the ice under his own power.

As Gogol lay on the ice, several Sharks went after Andreoff and Fraser McLaren got to him first, pinning him on the glass and throwing several punches before the officials intervened.

Andreoff will miss this weekend's road trip to St. John's for Manchester's games Friday and Saturday as well as the Jan. 11 home game with Albany.

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