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Valimaki assessed automatic three-game AHL suspension for physical abuse of officials

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Photo credit:Stockton Heat on Twitter
Mike Gould
10 months ago
Stockton Heat defenceman and Calgary Flames prospect @Juuso Valimaki made his return to game action against the Ontario  Reign on Saturday.
The 23-year-old Finn missed Stockton’s previous five games with a lower-body injury he suffered on Jan. 9 (also against Ontario). While he didn’t record a point in his first game back, Valimaki did manage to make an impression in a different way.
Valimaki suffered his injury three weeks ago after being on the receiving end of a high hit by Reign captain @Brett Sutter. Early in the third period on Saturday, Valimaki got tangled up once again with Sutter during a post-whistle scrum but was quickly restrained by referee Alec Rounds (No. 38).
While in Rounds’ custody, Valimaki appeared to take offence at taunting gestures made by Reign defenceman @Cameron Gaunce. Valimaki attempted to make a break for Gaunce but ended up shoving Rounds and dropping his stick.
Rounds immediately signalled a game misconduct for a visibly displeased Valimaki.
Valimaki’s penalty was entered onto the game sheet as a “Game misconduct – Physical abuse of officials (Cat. III).” This infraction also carries an automatic three-game suspension, as covered by AHL Rule 40.4:
40.4 Automatic Suspension — Category III — Any player who, by his actions, physically demeans or threatens an official by (but not limited to) throwing a stick or any other piece of equipment or object at or in the general direction of an official, shooting the puck at or in the general direction of an official, or who deliberately applies physical force to an official solely for the purpose of getting free of such an official during or immediately following an altercation shall be suspended for not less than three (3) games.
American Hockey League president Scott Howson will review this ruling in the coming days and will make a decision either to uphold, increase, decrease, or vacate the suspension. Stockton will play its next games against the Abbotsford Canucks on Feb. 3 and 4.
The Heat won by a 2–1 score in Saturday’s game. @Matthew Phillips and @Luke Philp tallied for Stockton in the victory; @Dustin Wolf made 32 saves for his league-leading 18th win of the season.

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