Ice forward returns after three-game suspension

Jon Martin gets back in the lineup in time for 1-0 win over defending WHL champions last Sunday.

Kootenay Ice forward Jon Martin is a changed man.

Or maybe not, because he still doesn’t know what got him suspended.

The feisty 17-year-old winger was part of a line brawl that erupted two weeks ago during a tilt against the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

The fracas started when teammate Brock Montgomery took a high stick to the face behind the opposing team’s net. The overage forward hunched over and slowly skated back to the Ice bench, but took exception to some chatter from the Lethbridge side and reached across the boards to grab the offender.

That set off a line brawl on the ice as players, in the heat of battle, paired up and started swinging.

A total of six fighting majors and three roughing minors were handed out after all the dust settled.

The WHL officially handed down Martin’s three-game suspension on Oct. 1st for “actions of player versus Lethbridge on September 29th” being the official explanation on the WHL’s discipline webpage.

“[WHL] didn’t say a word to me, I still don’t know why I got suspended, they still haven’t said anything,” said Martin. “Coach just came in and said I was suspended for three games and that was the end of it, so nothing I could do.”

The Hurricanes didn’t escape unscathed; forward Brady Ramsey was suspended for five games, and will return to the ice for Wednesday’s tilt against the Wheat Kings in Lethbridge.

Martin’s last game in the press box was during Kootenay’s 4-3 win against the Blades, but he returned to the lineup to lend a hand in the 1-0 shutout of the Edmonton Oil Kings on Sunday.

That victory was pretty sweet, he said.

“It feels great, we hadn’t beat them at all last year,” said Martin. “It was real sweet, for sure, and good to be a part of it, too.

“A good first game to be back.”

The Ice have a triple-header this weekend, starting with a quick jaunt to Red Deer on Friday, followed by contests with Kamloops on Saturday and the Rebels again on Sunday at Western Financial Place.