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NWHL suspends Kirchberger, Shatalova after fight

The tussle lead to a game misconduct for both

Today the NWHL announced Nikki Kirchberger of the Buffalo Beauts and Tatiana Shatalova of the Metropolitan Riveters received automatic one-game suspensions following their fight last Sunday.

In the third period, Shatalova cut to the net with Kirchberger on her back. The pair got entangled which Shatalova did not like. They got into it with Shatalova quickly being surrounded by Beauts. Captain Madison Packer and assistant captain Cailey Hutchison jump to grab their 20-year-old teammate and drag her out of the fray.

Kirchberger and Shatalova both received five minute penalties for fighting as well as game misconducts and left the game. Fighting in the NWHL leads to an automatic one-game suspension.

This is the NWHL’s sixth and seventh suspensions in the five season history. Last season, Beaut Sarah Casorso and Packer had an altercation for which both received five for fighting and a game misconduct. Casorso had previously announced it was her last game due to her full time job. Packer was suspended for the next game.

In November 2015, Molly Engstrom was the first suspension in NWHL history for a punch to Meghan Duggan’s head. Devon Skeats was suspended in February 2017 after Skeats was assessed a “three strikes”: two slew foot infractions and one hit from behind. In November 2017, Casorso and Jess Jones were both suspended following a game against the Riveters. Jones slew footed a Riveter and also removed the helmet of an opponent. Casorso was charged with a crosscheck and fighting.