Brutal brawl in ‘non-contact’ Canadian youth hockey league could land coach a lifetime ban

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

A wild brawl during a "non-contact" Quebec junior hockey match could land the coach of one of the teams involved a lifetime ban.

As reported by CBC Sports, Canoe and a variety of other Canadian news outlets, a tense matchup between the Chicoutimi Cougars and Jonquiere Pumas midget teams devolved into a nasty benches clearing brawl on Saturday night with approximately 10 seconds remaining in the contest. Among the disturbing aspects of the fight that have since been illuminated by the official referee's report is a claim that a Chicoutimi player was actually punched in the head by the Jonquiere head coach after the aforementioned player hopped over the bench and moved toward the Pumas coaching staff.

"We're talking about a man in his forties doing something like that to a 16-year-old," Cougars head coach Eric Gagne told Canoe. "For me raising your hand to a player of that age is wrong."

More disturbingly, the player attacked has allegedly suffered nine different concussions in the past, which is why he was participating in the non-contact league as opposed to another youth hockey league.

The attack on a Chicoutimi player was hardly the only disturbing event perpetrated by Jonquiere players and coaches during the brawl, which began when a Jonquiere player was apparently inadvertently pushed by a linesman. Teammates of the player in question reacted angrily, tackling the official with one player grabbing him by the head and slamming him to the ice.

[Related: Five elementary schoolers suffer concussions in disturbing youth football game]

The Quebec Ice Hockey Federation handed down suspensions of a length to be determined to two unspecified coaches and three different players following the brawl. Yet those suspensions may just be the tip of the iceberg for Jonquière coach André Harvey, who could be brought up on criminal charges by the father of the player whom he punched, according to CBC.

"If you aren't capable of restraining yourself under situations like that, you shouldn't have anything to do with young people," Jean Côté, the father of the player who was attacked told the Canadian network.

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