As you know, last week James Cody hit Morrisville's Geoff Matzel who was subsequently knocked out and required a visit to the hospital.
As you also know...it was a clean hit.
1,000 people in attendance at the game saw it as that...and so did the officiating crew. He was not penalized by them!
But, the Mustangs found it necessary to protest the hit and the NCAA has come down on James Cody with a two-game suspension that has him sitting for the last 2 games home games of the season.
That's a bummer for the fans. James is having a season to remember and this would have been the last weekend the home fans could have seen him, this year, not to mention the very last time they could have witnessed the exciting Cody-Finnerty-Galiani line (Galiani graduates this May).
Worse yet, it's a bummer for James. He has the chance to lead the nation in goals this year and without those 2 games, that odds are really against him.
If you know James you know that he's the ultimate competitor but, above all, a clean one. James never plays dirty. Look at the penalty minutes, they tell the tale. This season he has 16. Last season he had 39. In his freshman year he had 19. Yet, he's known as the hardest hitter in the SUNYAC. At all levels of hockey from juniors to the NHL the hardest hitters are usually the most-penalized because they hit outside of the confines of the rules. They're goons. James doesn't get penalized. He's not a goon. He's a high-skill player who plays hard and plays to win. He's a guy you want on your team. He plays by the rules.
And that's what makes this suspension so frustrating. If James deserved it I would say "do it". But he doesn't.
What further upsets me is Geoff Matzel. The picture you see below is the default picture on his Facebook page.
Who in God's name posts onto a social networking site a picture of themselves on a stretcher?
What hockey player complains about a hit yet shares the photo of the aftermath with glee, like it's something cute and funny?
He's disrespecting the game, something the NCAA thinks James did.
If it's so serious of a situation, why allow Matzel to make a mockery of it?
To think, I took offense when signs were up in the 3rd period of last week's game picking on Matzel for his height. And, I spent all Friday night worrying about the kid. I respected him. The advertising of his "injury" and the subsequent suspension of Mr. Cody have certainly taken away that respect.
I would love to see James' suspension protested and ultimately eliminated. It's the best thing for all involved.