Fights, automatic suspensions, goals, Twitter fights. Typical weekend in British hockey for Tom Sestito.
Tom Sestito had a busy weekend in the United Kingdom, and it's not over just yet.
On Friday against the Cardiff Devils, Sestito had two assists in Sheffield Steelers' 4-3 victory. A rather uneventful evening, at least relatively speaking. Things got interesting on Saturday. Sestito and the Steelers traveled to Coventry to take on the Blaze, and after Big Tom scored the opening goal in what would be a 3-0 shutout win, he got into it with fellow North American Benn Olson.
Sestito is in white, Olson in blue:
(Next time I'm in Coventry, I'm finding "Come on, Olson!" guy and buying him a beer. What a human.)
Olson and Sestito have crossed paths before, notably back in 2009 when Olson was playing with the AHL's Albany River Rats and Sestito was with the Syracuse Crunch. That one was a relatively even draw, but this one seemed to lean towards Olson. He got the take down and seemed to control most of the fight, but keeping the visor on is a pretty lame move. Come on, man.
The two clearly don't like each other, if Twitter is any indication. It all started with an Olson tweet to Sestito's head coach (!) Ryan Finnerty:
@finner16 chirping me in the paper guess you gotta say something after your big NHLer gets beat. Only stay out for handshakes after wins?— Benn Olson (@BennyOlson) October 21, 2012
@bennyolson I had to see this from a retweet I have to many followers to see your scrub remark, bud you hear every day your the worst player— Tom Sestito (@TomSestito23) October 21, 2012
Halloween party tonight changing up the costume and going as Ben Olson tonight, not hard to pull off the worst player to ever play the game— Tom Sestito (@TomSestito23) October 22, 2012
Damn. I thought things were supposed to be a bit classed up over there in Britain.
Tommy's weekend wasn't over after the fight with Olson, though. Sheffield returned home to host the Hull Stingrays on Sunday afternoon, another win for the Steelers, who have vaulted to the top of the Erhardt Conference standings thanks to their perfect weekend. Sestito didn't hit the scoreboard in Sunday's win, but he did rack up 30 penalty minutes.
Unfortunately, we don't have video of this one, but Sestito fought Hull's Ryan Hand early in the second period. Hand was given an instigator, a five-minute fighting major and a 10-minute misconduct for the incident, but the book was thrown at Sestito: A five-minute fighting major and a match penalty for checking to the head.
The Elite League released a statement Monday saying that the match penalty comes an automatic three-game suspension, which unfortunately would keep Sestito out until Saturday, November 3. If the NHL solves things soon, that means he could have played his last EIHL game -- and it'll also keep us from a rematch against Benn Olson and the Coventry Blaze on October 31.
Luckily for the sake of our entertainment, the Steelers have appealed the match penalty. The league is expected to rule in the next 48 hours or so. In the meantime, you can follow Tom Sestito on Twitter. Seems like the right call.