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Liambas suspended for hit in IHL two months after season-long OHL ban

It took a little over a month in the IHL for Mike Liambas to get his first suspension.

Liambas, a 20-year-old left-winger with the Bloomington PrairieThunder, has been handed a five-game ban by the IHL for a Dec. 29 hit from behind on Muskegon Lumberjacks defenceman Jason Lawmaster.

No penalty was called on the play, but Lawmaster ruptured his spleen and spent four days in hospital.

Liambas joined the IHL team on Dec. 2 after being suspended from the Ontario Hockey League for the rest of the season and playoffs in a Nov. 4 ruling.

The suspension came after the ex-Erie Otters forward was assessed a match penalty for boarding after his hit on Ben Fanelli of the Kitchener Rangers in a game Oct. 30.

Fanelli's helmet flew off and he fell unconscious to the ice before he was taken to a local hospital by ambulance. He was later airlifted to Hamilton General Hospital with skull and facial fractures.

Liambas described the latest incident as a "normal hit" in front of the bench.

"He was on his way down a little bit as I finished the check," Liambas told the Bloomington Pantagraph.

In an interview with the Muskegon Chronicle, Lawmaster said his injury was the result of an accident.

"I think it was a fluke thing," Lawmaster said. "We were both falling, and I don't think he was trying to blow up my spleen."

Liambas is eligible to return to the Bloomington lineup Jan. 17 against the Flint Generals.

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