Two teen girls in Manitoba accused of assaulting hockey refs
An Interlake bantam minor hockey playoff game in Stonewall got out of hand March 30, between the Stonewall Blues and Lake Manitoba First Nation. A linesman was kicked and punched by players while he was laying on the ice while some spectators fought in the stands, said RCMP. (HANDOUT PHOTO)
WINNIPEG — Two teenage girls from Lake Manitoba First Nation have been charged for allegedly assaulting referees during a playoff hockey game northwest of Winnipeg on March 30.
Stonewall RCMP said a member of the LakeMan team shot pucks at referees and another player hit two of the referees.
The accused are scheduled to appear in court Sept. 29.
Portions of the skirmish were caught on video and led to the Interlake Minor Hockey Association suspending the LakeMan bantam and midget teams for one year.
Interlake referee-in-chief Doug Zellar said he wonders if even the reality of criminal charges will curb bad behaviour, which he believes is a big problem in youth hockey across the province.
“I’m hoping it will open some eyes for a lot of people, that it will go to that extent,” he said. “This whole thing has been going on for too long. I really hope this changes things.”
“What we ultimately need is parents to take some responsibility and start controlling their kids. That’s one of the big things,” he added.
Hockey Manitoba executive director Peter Woods said his organization is always looking to address safety issues, but he doesn’t believe it’s a recurring problem.
“This is somewhat of an anomaly and it’s not something I’ve seen in the 13 years I’ve been involved with the organization,” he said.