Fan accused of using laser pointer to distract opposing hockey goalie

Jonathan Wall

A girls hockey playoff game in Massachusetts took an ugly turn, when a fan in the stands was caught shining a laser pointer in the eyes of the opposing team's goalie with the game tied 1-1 in the third period.

As multiple outlets throughout Massachusetts reported, Medway-Ashland (Mass.) High and Winthrop (Mass.) High were in the middle of a hotly contested game when an estranged relative of one of the Winthrop players began using a laser pointer to distract Medway-Ashland's players, including the goalie.

As Medway-Ashland head coach Kurt Carter told the MetroWest Daily News, the fan started using the laser pointer when Winthrop went down 1-0 in the game. But it wasn't until after Winthrop tied the game 1-1 that others in the stands started to realize what was going on.

An assistant football coach at Winthrop was the first to notice the laser pointer shining off the boards. As the coach and Winthrop Athletic Director Peter Gobiel started to make their way to the other side of the rink, they saw a Medway-Ashland fan stand up and yell at the laser-pointing Winthrop fan.

School officials immediately removed the individual and confirmed after the game that the he would be barred from all sporting events in the future.

While Medway-Ashland fans applauded Winthrop for removing the fan, Medway-Ashland head coach Kurt Carter wondered aloud if the laser pointer had affected his goalie late in the game.

"I certainly don't want to sound like sour grapes," he said. "Did it directly impact the goal? I don't know. There is no question it distracted our girls."

The goalie for Medway-Ashland appeared to take the brunt of the fan's laser pointer, as he continually tried to distract her during the third period. It got so bad, in fact, that reported the girl was suffering from headaches caused by the laser pointer the next day.

Parents of Medway-Ashland players have already demanded that the game be replayed, but at this point, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association has told both teams that the chances of a forfeit or replay are unlikely.

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