Lehner suspended for three games for row with ref

Binghamton Senator goalie Robin Lehner can breath a sigh of relief. He got off with even less than his coach thought he was going to get.
The American Hockey League suspended Lehner for three games on Tuesday for his actions during a 6-2 loss to the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday night, when he tried to wrestle his way past referee Darcy Burchell to get at Crunch goalie Jeff Deslauriers during a second-period brawl.
Binghamton coach Kurt Kleinendorst told the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin he was “a little surprised” by shortness of Robin Lehner’s suspension, but was “certainly not going to argue.”
Lehner will miss Wednesday’s game at Adirondack, Friday’s against Connecticut, and Saturday’s against Rochester.
He’ll be allowed to return on Jan. 11 when, coincidentally, Binghamton hosts Syracuse.
Lehner now joins Ray Emery in the record book as Ottawa prospects who have been suspended in the AHL.
Emery was suspended twice: once three games for bumping a referee, and once three games for an altercation with Denis Hamel of the Rochester Americans, who uttered a racial slur.
Earlier Tuesday, in a long interview with the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Lehner explained his actions.
He said he was just trying to get through the officials to get at Deslauriers.
“I know he’s a good guy and everything, but you know, but hockey’s hockey,” said Lehner.
“It’s a hard situation. It’s a lot of adrenaline and a lot of things going on at once, you know, fans into it, everyone just so much adrenaline pumping through the building.
“It was nothing against the refs, per se. I just tried to get through. I tried to get through to the goalie, you know. I had to, I had to try, because I wanted him to kind of drop his gloves and stuff, too, so I wouldn’t hurt my team more than already is.
“I just fought it a little bit too long. I just thought that it would have been easier if (the referee) would let me go, if he would have let me go through, and you know, break it up from there, maybe.”
Lehner defended his actions as happening in the heat of the moment. He lost it, but he intended no harm.
“It happened fast,” he said.
“There was lots of emotions, nothing else. It was nothing meant for the refs. I know the refs didn’t get hurt or anything, either. I didn’t fight the ref.
“I looked through the tape a bunch of times myself and tried to see if I did something wrong.
“But my conclusion is, ‘OK, maybe I fought it too long,’ and I would understand if I get some kind of suspension for that, maybe, because I’m kind of challenging the ref to get through and not listening to him, you know.
“He’s the boss, so that I could understand. But to say that I kind of abused him or like did some kind of damage to him, I don’t think that’s true.
“Maybe I dragged him a little bit, but it was nothing meant to him, and it was just . . . I had one focus, and the only focus was to get through and get to the goalie.”

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