Tom Sestito's big hit earned him a match penalty on Sunday. It also sent his opponent to the hospital.
As we noted Monday, it was a busy weekend for Tom Sestito in Britain's Elite Ice Hockey League. He scored a few points, got in a fight with an old AHL foe and then got in a big, funny Twitter argument with the guy.
Oh, and he was given a match penalty and faces a three-game suspension for a hit to the head of a different opposing player. We're now learning more about that hit, which the EIHL said was delivered to the head of Hull Stingrays forward Andy Ward.
We haven't been able to come across video,but we've reached out to several parties who might have access to a video clip they could share. There's one photo that may or may not be of the same incident posted on the Sheffield Steelers website and above, but it's tough to tell much from one still image. Not enough to judge, at least.
We're hoping we'll be able to get a full look for ourselves at the hit, but in the meantime, the reports are pretty awful.
"I don't remember anything about it to be honest," Ward said in a statement released by the team. "I came round in the room and went to hospital. I had a CT scan to check for swelling and bleeding and that came back all clear. I also had a few deep cuts which they cleaned up.
"I want to say thank you to everyone who took care of me on the ice and afterwards. I heard a few of the players helped too. I have had tweets from fans from Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham and Coventry showing their support. I have been overwhelmed by it all. It's happened and I need to deal with it. It is unfortunate timing as I was starting to get a regular shift and I was really enjoying it out there. I now want to focus on my recovery and get back as soon as I can."
Sestito and the Steelers have claimed that the hit was an accident. A report in the Sheffield Star newspaper says the team believes it was a forearm-to-shoulder hit, but without video, we can't possibly judge for ourselves. The team has appealed the automatic three-game suspension that comes with the match penalty and a decision from the EIHL is due by tomorrow.
"The penalty to Tom was the one down spot," Sheffield head coach Ryan Finnerty said after the game Sunday. "I thought at the time it was a tough call. I have the DVD with me and I'll go home to watch it. The good news is that I am told Andy Ward is okay. He took a nasty knock but I thought Tommy eased up and just finished his check."
We reached out to Sestito through his agent, Scott Norton, who told us that while he hopes Ward is okay, the hit "wasn't a big deal." We've also reached out to Ward through Facebook, but he's yet to get back to us. Of course, we did reach out to him at roughly 11 p.m. his time Tuesday, so we'll report back when we get a response.