The ECHL announced on Thursday that Adirondack Thunder forward Robbie Payne has been suspended two games and fined an undisclosed amount for his actions in Wednesday night’s game against the Maine Mariners. The Gaylord, Michigan native delivered an illegal hit to the head of Dillan Fox and then fought Brian Hart in a separate incident. He was given five for an illegal hit to the head, five for fighting, this in addition to a game misconduct.

Payne will miss Friday’s game at Reading and Saturday’s game at home against Worcester. Maine’s Mikael Robidoux was suspended three games and fined an undisclosed amount for his boarding call on defensemen Blake Thompson. Thompson didn’t return to the game and neither did Robidoux as Robidoux was given five and a game misconduct.

Courtney Phillips/The Puck Authority

What This Means For The Thunder

This is a huge blow to the Thunder as Payne was recently named to the ECHL All-Star Game and has been a top producer for the team this season. The Thunder do have some extra forwards available and with Payne out, expect Alex Carrier to draw back into the lineup for the Adirondack Thunder. Carrier has put up three goals and five assists for eight points in 27 games with the Thunder. He will add size up front and can be an offensive spark for Adirondack in Payne’s absence. Expect to see Nikita Popugaev take Payne’s spot on a line with Casey Pierro-Zabotel and James Henry if Carrier isn’t slotted in that spot.

Alex Jaeckle will likley make his Thunder debut on Friday night, taking the spot of the injured Blake Thompson. This could be a strong move for the Thunder, especially seeing that they don’t have to take a healthy defensemen out of the lineup. It will be interesting to see what the new look Thunder team can on Friday night at Santander Arena when they pay a visit the Reading Royals.

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