The University of Maine will be without its hottest goal scorer on Friday night when it visits Northeastern for the first of two important Hockey East games against the Huskies.
Black Bear sophomore right wing Ryan Lomberg, who has six goals in his last nine games, was suspended by Hockey East Coordinator of Officials Dan Schachte on Tuesday for elbowing Merrimack College defenseman Dan Kolomatis in the head at the 3:09 mark of the second period in Saturday night’s 3-2 Maine win at Alfond Arena.
Lomberg was assessed a two-minute minor for interference.
Schachte reviewed the game video as he does all league games and explained that Lomberg had his elbow elevated long before he hit Kolomatis and neither player was near the puck.
Kolomatis was shaken up on the play and was attended to by the trainer but did return to play.
“In Hockey East and in the NCAA, we’re about player safety. This was a contact-to-the-head infraction that warranted a suspension,” said Schachte. “The referee caught the tail end of it and assessed the interference penalty. If he had seen the whole incident, he would have kicked him out.”
Maine coach Red Gendron said, “I support the league’s decision.”
Gendron said Lomberg will be available to play in Saturday night’s game at Northeastern.
Gendron said he wasn’t sure who will replace Lomberg in the lineup Friday night.
Lomberg is Maine’s third-leading goal scorer with 10 and he is tied sixth in points with 15.
He has three assists to go with his six goals over the last nine games. He has two game-winning goals and a game-tying goal among the six.