Friday, October 12, 2018

Fuller's 'Predatory' Hit Sidelines Vees Forward Elser:

This was in the Penticton Herald newspaper:

'Predatory' hit sidelines Vees forward Elser

Herald Staff

Oct 9, 2018

Vernon Vipers defenceman Landon Fuller has been suspended five games for a blow to the head infraction on Penticton Vees forward Drew Elser.

The incident occurred at 1:30 of the third period of Friday’s BCHL game at the South Okanagan Events Centre and knocked the 18-year-old Elser from the game with a broken jaw.

“It was a predatory hit,” said Vees president, GM and head coach Fred Harbinson. “You’ve got a defenceman in there on the forecheck. I’m not sure why he is there.”

Harbinson also wondered why Fuller – who originally only got a minor penalty for charging - was still in the game to inflict further damage when he ran Vees forward Jack Barnes into a stanchion near the Vernon bench later in the third period.

The fact the 19-year-old Fuller was later assessed a match penalty for the hit on Elser confirms that he shouldn’t have remained in the game.

“I don’t think he was intending to hurt Barnesy,” said Harbinson. “It was his demeanour after the play when he saw our guy was down hurt that was upsetting. That’s something that can be dealt with down the road.”

Barnes suffered a broken nose but was able to play in the return game in Vernon on Saturday.

Elser may also be able to play sooner than originally anticipated.

Harbinson said the talented young forward won’t need surgery nor will he need to have his jaw wired.

“It’s more some head issues he’s having,” said Harbinson. “When they subside he will likely be able to play with a protective face guard. The kid has so much heart and he’d go out and play now if we let him. But at least we’re probably looking at 2-3 weeks as opposed to six weeks.”

Fuller – who has 10 points and 146 penalty minutes with four different teams to show for a three-year stint in the BCHL - may not be playing for a while, but his antics impacted the outcome of the game in Vernon.

After the Vees dominated in the 3-0 win on Friday, Vernon took advantage of a depleted Penticton lineup to eke out a 2-1 victory at home. Fuller did not play in the game.

“We just ended up having too many forwards playing over 20 minutes, and as a result we took too many penalties,” said Harbinson. “We got better as the game went on, but we just ran out of gas a bit there late in the third. It was too bad because I thought we played our best game of the season on Friday. We skated hard from start to finish and held a real good team to only 13 shots on goal.”

As for the Vipers, it was already their third suspension of the young season. Jesse Lansdell – who scored the winner on the power play on Saturday – got his second four-game blow-to-the-head ban in the last 11 calendar months on Sept. 17.

And in the pre-season, Austin Chorney got a two-game suspension for a check from behind.

Fuller will be eligible to return Oct. 21 at Salmon Arm.

The Vees and Vipers next meet Nov. 7 in Vernon.

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