The Kelowna Rockets’ Pavel Novak. (WHL)

Rockets’ Novak receives 8-game suspension

Novak was penalized for a checking-from-behind penalty on Nov.11

The Kelowna Rockets will be without one of their star rookies for nearly 10 games starting Saturday.

Pavel Novak received an eight-game ban from the Western Hockey League on Wednesday following a major penalty called against him on Nov. 11’s game against the Kamloops Blazers.

Novak has been having a stellar start to the year with the Rockets. He’s Kelowna’s second leading scorer with 21 points and leads all WHL rookies.

READ MORE: Rockets’ skid continues with Remembrance Day loss to Blazers

READ MORE: Novak’s hat-trick leads Rockets to lopsided win

The eight-game suspension comes after Novak hit Kamloops forward Kyrell Soptyk head-first into the boards. The dangerous hit came in the Rockets’ 5-2 loss to Kamloops on Remembrance Day. Kelowna is 0-4 against the Blazers this season and will face them once again this Saturday at Prospera Place.

Soptyk did skate off the ice but will be held out with injury until January.

Novak’s suspension will hold the import player out until Dec. 10.

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