A referee pulls a young hockey player away from a scum. The player has a hold of the referee’s shirt. Seeking to break the hold, the referee takes a swipe at the player’s head. His teammate see the smack.
All hell breaks loose.
That was the scene back in January when St. Mary’s College and Sault High met in a tournament game at Pullar Stadium, as two players from SMC jumped a game official, one of them pummeling him while he was down on the ice. The fight was broken up, and the police were called to the rink. The players were both suspended two games (!) for the incident, according to the Sault Star.
A follow-up by the paper with the father of one of the players said the truth would set his young skater free:
“The video clearly shows the truth. You cannot change the video,” said Joe Jollineau, the father of one of two St. Mary's College players who were suspended for two games in the local high school league after Saturday's exhibition tournament game between SMC and the Sault High Blue Devils.
“Numerous other complaints were filed of the incident with Sault police that people handed in at the game,” Jollineau said.
… Jollineau said a Sault, Ont., woman used her camera to record the incident. He submitted the digital recording to police, but has yet to release it publicly.
“(I've) been advised by a lawyer not to show the video just yet. The lawyer's seen the video, there's nothing my son done wrong ... The video protects my son,” he said. “Once my son is cleared the video will be going public.”
After nine months, the video finally hit YouTube (via Reddit).
Who’s at fault? Well, the referee smacking a player in the middle of an ongoing fight probably isn’t what they teach you in the handbook, especially when that player doesn’t appear to be engaging physically beyond a jersey-tug. The players have their Pavlovian response, going in to defend their guy.
The whole thing is unfortunate, but the referee was the catalyst here.
We’ve seen references to the ref having been hit with a two-month suspension after this incident, but couldn’t find anything concrete. If you know more about this situation, hit us at email@example.com.
MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY