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Manitoba girls charged with assault after attacking officials during hockey brawl

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Screengrab from a clip of a hockey brawl in Manitoba.

Two teenage girls in Manitoba have been charged with assault after a tournament hockey game ended in a bitter brawl.

The girls, aged 14 and 13, play for the Lake Manitoba First Nation Eagles, who were up against the Stonewall Blues in a minor-league championship game. Tensions were high, and Lake Manitoba had been charged with numerous penalties throughout for their chippy play.

Finally, in the third period, one of their girls decided she'd had enough, and took a slapshot at the officials during a stoppage in play. You can see video of that moment at 1:08 in this feature on hockey violence in Manitoba's First Nations communities:

That kicked off a massive brawl that eventually spilled over into the stands and saw the referees attacked by more players. In the end, the RCMP had to be called in to break things up and clear out about 100 people.

The girl who took the slapshot has beem charged with assault with a deadly weapon, and one of her teammates has been charged with assault, though we don't know which teammate that was.

Based on the suspensions handed out by Hockey Manitoba, it's likely one of two girls, we can probably make an educated guess. From the CBC:

The 14 year old who shot the puck is out until Jan 1, 2015. Another, who shoved an official while being escorted off the ice, is suspended until Dec. 15.

And another, who punched a linesman twice in back of head and punched a ref in the groin, is out until Sept. 1, 2015.

RCMP did not identify which one of those was the 13-year-old girl.

My money's on the one that was punching people in the back of the head and the groin. But I'm no lawyer.

Unsurprisingly, the officials refuse to ref games for Lake Manitoba next season.

That said, according to some Lake Manitoba supporters, the team probably doesn't want these officials anyway. Margaret Swan, who was at the game, said the players told her the referees were using abusive language "about race, and just being very aggressive with them."

"I've seen that too from where I was sitting. They were always the ones getting shoved by the refs and being in their face," she told CBC News.

If that's true, I might have teed one up too.

 

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