BRACKNELL Bees have been punished heavily by the National Ice Hockey League for their attacks on Peterborough Phantoms players at the end of the South Cup semi-final with four players being suspended, writes Dave Wright.

Ryan Watt will miss a total of 21 games, which rules him out of the rest of this season, team captain Joe Baird and his brother Brendan have each been given four-match bans, while Ben Paynter will miss two games.

The suspensions came into force before Sunday's match at Milton Keynes Thunder, but the depleted Bees still managed to win the game, coming from three goals down to triumph 6-4.

The NIHL discipline committee were quick to take action over the unsavoury scenes at Bracknell on February 20 which occurred shortly after the final buzzer had sounded, leading to the match officials handing out a total of 198 penalty minutes.

The league said in a statement: "Ryan Watt was assessed a match penalty for fighting and a second match penalty for physically engaging with a spectator. The player is suspended for six games for fighting and 10 games for engaging with a spectator. He has also reached 10 and 15 penalty points so under totting up is suspended for an additional five games (2+3). This brings a total suspension of 21 games.

"Brendan Baird and Joe Baird received match penalties for fighting. Each player is suspended for four games starting tonight (Sunday).

They will also miss games on 3rd, 6th and 9th of March.

"Ben Paynter picked up three separate game misconduct penalties on the night and has now passed 10 penalty points so under the totting up process he is suspended for two games – February 24 and March 3."

As a result, Bees have now passed 50 penalty points for the season, and that has led to head coach Doug Sheppard receiving a two-game suspension.

None of the winning Peterborough team was disciplined although their equipment manager was suspended for one game for misconduct.