Kootenay Ice defenceman Troy Murray (#2)

Kootenay Ice defenceman Troy Murray (#2)

Kootenay Ice defenceman Troy Murray suspended by WHL

Kootenay Ice defenceman Troy Murray suspended by WHL for check to the head delivered Saturday against Spokane Chiefs

Kootenay Ice defenceman Troy Murray has been suspended for two games following a check to the head major penalty incurred Saturday, Jan. 23, in a 3-1 loss to the Spokane Chiefs.

The announcement was made by the Western Hockey League Tuesday afternoon.

The 18-year-old defenceman will miss both of his team’s games this weekend — Friday, Jan. 29 at Red Deer and Sunday, Jan. 31 at Edmonton. He will be eligible to return to play when the Ice host the Oil Kings Tuesday, Feb. 2 at Western Financial Place.

Murray was slapped with five-minute major for checking to the head, along with a game misconduct, 12:35 into the second period of play at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena after delivering a heavy hit to Chiefs centre Wyatt Johnson.

On the play, the 6-foot-1 Murray cut across the centre red line, contacting Johnson in open ice with a high left arm. At the time, Johnson was carrying the puck.

The 20-year-old Chiefs veteran left the game following the hit, but returned to play shortly after.

In the meantime, Murray was immediately confronted by Chiefs defenceman Evan Fiala, and the two dropped the mitts for a short, but spirited scrap. Fiala was charged with a two-minute instigator penalty along with a five-minute major for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct.

Murray, a native of White City, Sask., was also handed a five-minute fighting major at the end of the brouhaha, rounding his collection of penalty minutes up to 20 on the one sequence.

The smooth-skating defenceman has now racked up 47 penalty minutes over 46 games this season, eclipsing the career high of 35 he set in 2014-15.

Murray, a first-round pick (10th overall) of the Kootenay Ice at the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft, has registered nine assists in 46 games this season.

In 182 career WHL games, Murray has three goals, 40 points and 92 minutes in penalties.