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Scottish hockey player barred from joining his team for championship after wearing a plush bear costume

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Dundee Stars/Sam the Bear

During the playoffs, postgame victory celebrations can get a little rowdy, but there's a line you simply just can't cross. According to the Scottish Ice Hockey Association, 14-year-old Pavel Pliskov crossed it.

Pliskov, a Lithuanian-born player for the Dundee Stars of the under-14 league, was celebrating with his teammates after scoring a hat trick in a 6-1 win over Kilmarnock Storm to send his team to the final game. During the celebration, he put on a bear costume and danced around.

He shouldn't have done that. From the Scotland Courier:

The fun spilled over to a changing room where, hanging on a hook, was the costume of Sam the Bear, the mascot of Fife Flyers ice hockey team.

Other Dundee players passed it round and played with it and Pavel, in high spirits, put it on. He larked around the venue and play-acted to the amusement of other players, coaches and the public.

Officials of the Scottish Ice Hockey Association, though, did not find it funny and told him that because of his behaviour he couldn't play in the final against Flyers.

Apparently, the Scottish Ice Hockey Association draws the line at disrespecting the clothy insides of Sam the Bear, and they mean business. Not only was Pliskov banned from the final game, but after Dundee won it 6-0 without him, he wasn't allowed to join his team on the ice for the medal ceremony.

Pliskov was devastated. According to his mother, he called the day of the championship the worst day of his life and never wants to play ice hockey again. Stuart Bartlett, the coach of the Dundee Stars, called the decision "way over the top."

So what was the SIHA's position? Are they, like Ilya Bryzgalov, deathly afraid of bears? Are they bitter Canucks fans? Are they extra-sensitive to furries after watching that weird scene from "The Shining"?

Jim Anderson, the organization's chairman, claimed Pliskov was "bringing the game into disrepute." He also mentioned that the boys got the costume from the lady curlers' changing room. One wonders if there were ladies in it at the time.

Check out more at the Scotland Courier, including quotes from Pliskov and Anderson.

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