BRACKNELL Bees' leading goalscorer Frankie Bakrlik has been suspended for 18 matches by the English Ice Hockey Association.

The powerfully-built forward will miss the remainder of the National Ice Hockey League South One season and a large chunk of the next due to the league's totting-up process.

Bees have decided not to appeal against the decision.

Bakrlik, 34, was pulled up by league officials following two separate incidents of checking to the head, the most recent coming in an 8-4 home defeat to Basingstoke Bison at The Hive last month.

The English Ice Hockey Association posted the following statement on its website:

"The NIHL disciplinary panel have confirmed a suspension of 18 games on Bracknell Bees forward Frantisek Bakrlik.

"Bakrlik was assessed a match penalty for checking to the head during the Bees’ NIHL South 1 game against Basingstoke Bison on Sunday February 25th. This is the player’s second offence of this type, receiving a six game suspension in November 2017.

"Under the terms of the NIHL circular issued on November 21, 2017 the disciplinary panel consider this a repeat offence.  The player is suspended for six games for the offence with five penalty points added to his record.  He also receives ten additional penalty points per the terms of the circular.

"The penalty points take the player beyond the thresholds of 15, 20 and 25 points so under he is suspended for an additional 12 games (three plus four plus five).

"This makes a total suspension of 18 games. Two games have been served over the weekend of 3/4 March.

"The League Management Committee (LMC) and disciplinary panel have reaffirmed their intention to review the discipline rules and interpretations with regard to instances of serious foul play this summer."

Bees have now confirmed they will not be appealing against the league's decision due to a lack of video evidence.

They, too, made a public statement this afternoon, stating: "The Bracknell Bees are extremely disappointed to learn of an imposed EIHA suspension of 18 games against Frantisek Bakrlik.

"Unfortunately, our video team were unable to cover the game against the Basingstoke Bison and in the absence of that evidence, we are unable to make a significant appeal against this subjective decision.

"We are therefore unable to select Frankie in the forthcoming play-off campaign, but are determined to overcome this set back.

"Frankie has been an extremely popular figure at The Hive this season and we thank him for his superb support on and off the ice. We will miss him and his family over the next few weeks and we wish them all the very best for the future."

  • See this week's Bracknell News for all the latest from the Bracknell Bees.