April 22, 2014 11:18 pm

Refs call hockey suspensions a ‘slap on the wrist’

WINNIPEG – Three bantam hockey players from Lake Manitoba, two girls and one boy, have been suspended by Hockey Manitoba for their role in a melee during a championship game last month.

But referees say the punishments don’t go far enough, and many are saying they will not officiate another Lake Manitoba game due to ongoing problems with the team.

“I don’t think it’s harsh enough,” said Doug Zeller, the Interlake Minor Hockey Association’s referee chief. “We represent Hockey Manitoba and we feel like they’re not backing us up here. I’ve got seven of my senior officials saying that they will not ref [Lake Manitoba] again … I’m one of them.”

Five match penalties were handed out during the game between Stonewall and Lake Manitoba, including one for shooting a puck at a ref and two for hitting a ref. Bantam teams are made up of 13- and 14-year-olds.

Referees said the suspensions are as follows:

  • The Lake Manitoba boy who shoved a linesman received a six-week suspension.
  • The girl who shot a puck at the referees received a two-month suspension.
  • The girl who punched an official in the head and another in the groin got a one-year suspension.

“It’s more of a slap on the wrist than anything,” said Scott Misciewicz, who was one of the linesman who got punched in the head. “It doesn’t show a good strong message [Hockey Manitoba] is protecting the officials and referees.”

The suspensions won’t take effect until the beginning of the hockey season next fall.

Global News contacted Hockey Manitoba for comment on these suspensions but didn’t get a call back Tuesday.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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