Junior player assessed match penalty for incident with official, suspended for 365 days

Danton Ayotte of the AJHL’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons received a 365-day suspension for a match penalty resulting from an on-ice incident with an official on Dec. 6. The suspension was the suggested minimum penalty.

Danton Ayotte, who plays for the AJHL’s Fort McMurray Murray Oil Barons, is going to be watching from the sidelines for quite some time after Hockey Alberta suspended the winger for 365 days.

The suspension comes in the wake of an incident involving a referee during the Oil Barons Dec. 6 game against the Brooks Bandits. The 19-year-old Ayotte was ejected in the first period, assessed a match penalty, and the ruling from Hockey Alberta came down yesterday.

QMI Agency’s Robert Murray spoke to Hockey Alberta’s senior communications manager Brad Lyon, who said Ayotte’s match penalty resulted from an intentional “strike, trip, or body check,” of the game’s official. According to Lyon, the suggested minimum penalty for Ayotte’s infraction was the 365-day suspension.

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In a statement released via Twitter, the Oil Barons said they’re currently considering all options in regards to the ruling, and may appeal the suspension. The team also stated they have no further comment at this time.

Last season, in his rookie campaign, Ayotte registered 16 goals and 26 points in 51 games, also racking up 78 penalty minutes over the course of the season. He was part of the Barons team that lost in the semi-finals of last year’s AJHL playoffs. Ayotte had four goals, 10 points, and 82 PIM in 27 games this season. Of his 82 PIM, 25 came in the Dec. 6 contest against the Bandits.