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Kingston's Bennett suspended five games by OHL

by Mike G. Morreale

Kingston Frontenacs center Samuel Bennett, No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top North American players eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, on Tuesday was given a five-game suspension by the Ontario Hockey League for his actions in a game against the Peterborough Petes earlier this month.

The suspension is retroactive to March 7, meaning Bennett would be eligible to return to the lineup for his team's regular-season finale against the Mississauga Steelheads on March 16.

Bennett had already served two games of the suspension while the league was reviewing his double minor for high sticking against defenseman Clarke Seymour 13:38 into the third period of a 5-4 loss to the Petes on March 6. Seymour was a fifth-round selection (No. 143) of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the 2012 NHL Draft.

The Frontenacs have 36 wins and 78 points and are in third place in the conference standings with four regular-season games remaining.

Kingston is scheduled to play the Ottawa 67's on Tuesday. The team, which has earned eight of 10 points in the past five games, will open the OHL playoffs next week with home-ice advantage in the opening round. The Frontenacs currently sit third in the Eastern Conference and can finish no worse than fourth.

Bennett is sixth in the OHL with 91 points, on 36 goals and 55 assists. In 116 career games spanning two seasons, he has 54 goals, 131 points and 205 penalty minutes. He also leads the team with 10 power-play goals and is second with a plus-34 rating.

Bennett had a league-high 25-game point streak (17 goals, 46 points) snapped on Jan. 30 in a 4-0 loss to the Windsor Spitfires.

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