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OHL hands down 2-game suspension to Barrie defenceman

Kashawn Aitcheson kicked out of Tuesday's game against Ottawa for check to the head; two teams meet again tonight at Sadlon Arena
Barrie Colts defenceman Kashawn Aitcheson is shown in a file photo.

Barrie Colts defenceman Kashawn Aitcheson has been suspended two games following a major penalty in Tuesday afternoon's road game against the Ottawa 67's.

The Ontario Hockey League announced the suspension today.

Around the midway point of the third period Tuesday, Aitcheson was assessed a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for checking to the head. He also received a five-minute instigator penalty after fighting Ottawa's Matthew Mayich. 

Barrie lost the game, 6-4. The Colts are back in action tonight when they host Ottawa at Sadlon Arena in the back half of a home-and-home.

Aitcheson was also the target of online comments from a pair of Sudbury Wolves players following a hard body check earlier this season. 

On Tuesday, the OHL announced the results of its appeal process regarding suspensions previously meted out to Sudbury players Nathan Villeneuve and Evan Konyen in connection to their roles in violating the league’s social-media policy.

Villeneuve's 15-game suspension was upheld, with nine regular-season games to be served in the 2023-24 season and the remaining six to be served to begin the 2024-25 regular season. He is eligible to return for Game 1 of the 2024 OHL playoffs, however.

Konyen's 10-game suspension was reduced six games. He's eligible to return for regular-season action on Friday, March 22.

The league had initially handed down the Villeneuve and Konyen suspensions March 6 following an investigation into an alleged bounty being placed on the Barrie Colts defenceman.

The league had said it became aware of "concerning allegations" regarding "inappropriate game-related comments" shared on a Wolves group chat following a Jan. 18 game between Sudbury and Barrie. The league did not provide any specifics about the comments that were made. 

In that January game, Aitcheson hit Villeneuve with a hard body check at Sadlon Arena.

Although there was no penalty called on the play, the check didn’t sit well with Wolves defencemen Nolan Collins, who fought Aitcheson later in the same game.

Three days later, when the two teams met again, Barrie didn’t dress Aitcheson, according to the game sheet. Sudbury won that game, 6-3.

The teams played again at Sudbury Community Arena on Feb. 28, with Barrie winning 7-3. Aitcheson didn't play in that game, either. 

Barrie and Sudbury will meet again on Saturday, March 16 at Sadlon Arena, followed by another game in Sudbury on Friday, March 22 in what will be the penultimate game of the regular-season schedule.