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Bulldogs' Perezhogin suspended indefinitely

5/1/2004

HAMILTON, Ontario -- The AHL suspended Hamilton Bulldogs
forward Alexander Perezhogin indefinitely, pending a league review,
following his stick-swinging attack to the head of Cleveland Barons
defenseman Garrett Stafford.

Perezhogin was assessed a match penalty for attempt to injure
when he hit Stafford during a playoff game Friday night.

Stafford was forced to go to the hospital, where he was treated
and released Friday night. He returned to Cleveland on Saturday
morning, the Barons said.

Stafford sustained a concussion and a cut on his face, injuries
that will keep him out indefinitely. Stafford was on his knees when
he was struck and fell to the ice, blood gushing from a gash on his
face.

Hamilton police are investigating the hit. The AHL didn't
immediately announce when it will conduct its review.

Stafford was injured in the first period and Cleveland went on
to a 4-1 victory that brought them within 3-2 in the series. The
best-of-seven series resumes Sunday in Cleveland.

"I've been doing hockey my whole life and I've never seen
anything like it," Barons coach Roy Sommer said.

Sommer said he hopes Perezhogin is punished to the full extent
possible.

"I don't think this guy should ever play again in North
America," he said. "That's a travesty. I saw it on tape ... and
it's even worse on tape."

Bulldogs coach Doug Jarvis said his team's thoughts are with
Stafford.

"My only thoughts right now is that Garrett Stafford is all
right," he said. "That's what we're all hoping for at this
time."

In March, Vancouver Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi was suspended
for the rest of the NHL regular season and the playoffs for
attacking Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore from behind.

Vancouver police have finished their investigation in that case
and a decision on charges is pending.