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Police allege hockey dad assaults coach after son’s benching

Ben Rohrbach
Prep Rally

Orchard Park (N.Y.) police told multiple media outlets that a Buffalo-area hockey dad allegedly assaulted a prep hockey coach while under the influence of alcohol for benching his son, resulting in a shoulder injury.

Michael Schaefer, 48, has been charged with third-degree assault after pushing his son's coach and striking him several times after a game at West Seneca (N.Y.) Leisure Rinks over the weekend, Orchard Park Police Lt. Patrick Fitzgerald told The Buffalo News.

"We've seen parents and coaches go at it before, but to this extent -- no," added Orchard Park Police Chief Mark Pacholec in an interview with WGRZ-TV.

Shaefer's son plays goalkeeper for Athol Springs (N.Y.) Saint Francis High, and the coach told police he had removed the goalie from the ice during the game. A crowd gathered as the postgame fracas reportedly spilled into the parking lot as police arrived. The coach was treated for a shoulder injury at a nearby hospital and later released, according to reports.

Meanwhile, commenters on both local media reports had varying versions of the incident.

A poster named Jackie Lynch claimed on the original Buffalo News report: "So let me get this straight the coach benches the player and a 17 year old decides to have a temper tantrum because he got benched and quits the team. So the coach calls the player on his tantrum. Dad sure showed everybody. Probably not only ruined it for his kid but every other player on the team. Parents need to learn that just because your kid can skate it doesn't mean they are NHL material. It's a game people grow up."

But a poster named Jim Bob Giambelluca countered on WGRZ-TV via Facebook: "so sad how stories get so blown out of proportion ..... from talking with a few friends and parents there was an argument between the father and the coach ( no punches thrown ) and people breaking it up knocked the coach down by accident … is the father in the wrong maybe? Maybe not.... if what I heard took place with my son there would have been a few words for the coach myself.. just like most news now a days they give you what you want to hear!! i feel for the son through all this hes the one getting hurt and he is a grrreat kid."

Regardless, Schaefer is reportedly scheduled to appear in court later this month.

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Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Prep Rally on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at preprallyblog@yahoo.com or follow Prep Rally on Twitter!

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