NORTH BAY, Ont. — Brandon Coe of the North Bay Battalion has been suspended two games for a gesture to fans during an Ontario Hockey League game Monday against the host Ottawa 67’s, the league announced Thursday.
Right winger Coe scored the first North Bay goal in an eventual 6-3 loss at 7:06 of the second period, cutting the Battalion’s deficit to 2-1. He immediately punched and dropped Ottawa’s Kody Clark and then engaged in a fight with Merrick Rippon.
Heading to the dressing room via a tunnel, Coe was shown on the main video board and auxiliary screens raising a finger of his left hand to some of the limited part of the crowd of 5,078 that could see him.
He returned to the ice during a stoppage at 12:57 of the period, going first to the Battalion bench and then across the ice to the penalty box, eliciting boos on both trips. He was shown again in closeup on the video screens in the box, apparently signaling to the bench that he needed repairs or a replacement for his chin strap, with further booing provoked.
The Battalion plays three road games in as many days this weekend, starting Friday night against the Sarnia Sting and continuing Saturday night against the Windsor Spitfires. Coe will miss those games before being eligible to return Sunday, when the Troops face the London Knights.
Coe, who scored in a fourth consecutive game Monday, has 15 goals and 17 assists for 32 points in 55 games. As a rookie last season, he scored 10 goals and earned 13 assists for 23 points in 63 games. The Battalion chose him in the first round, third overall, of the 2017 OHL Priority Selection from the Toronto Nationals minor midgets.