Spitfire Coach Draws "Line In The Sand," Benches Sergachev


Windsor Spitfires head coach Rocky Thompson is calling it a "line in the sand."

During Sunday afternoon's home game against the Sarnia Sting, Thompson benched defenceman Mikhail Sergachev for the entire third period.

The move was made after the Montreal Canadiens 2016 first round draft pick took a high-sticking penalty and then an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the second period, to go along with a cross-checking penalty in the first period.

Windsor was leading 2-0 heading into the third period, but with Sergachev on the bench, the Sting rallied with four goals to pull out a 4-2 win.

"That was a message being sent to Misha, 100%," says Thompson. "It's not the first time it's happened this year, so as a result he didn't play in the third period. Some people may think it cost us the game, 100% it did."

In defending the decision, Thompson said " I had to draw a line in the sand for an individual to see what would happen come playoff time, come a Memorial Cup if your emotion can't be controlled. Tonight, it cost our team. It was my decision because sometimes you have to send a message."

"Misha is a great kid," says the Spitfires head coach. "I know this is like a knife in the heart because he cares about his teammates a lot and he feels a responsibility for what happened tonight, for sure."

The three penalties taken by Sergachev were the only penalties taken the entire game by Windsor.

Last year's OHL defenceman of the year has 9 goals and 38 points in 49 games this season.