More suspensions for players and coaches in wake of St. FX and Acadia hockey brawl
Atlantic University Sport (AUS) has announced more suspensions for players and coaches following a brawl earlier this month during a hockey game between the Acadia Axemen and the St. FX X-Men.
The game on Feb. 2 originally resulted in 15 players and two head coaches being suspended after a melee spread from the centre ice to both teams’ benches.
AUS men’s hockey sport chair David MacLean handed down a decision on additional suspensions Tuesday afternoon after completing a review.
The suspensions are:
- TJ Fergus (Acadia Axemen student-athlete): 3 additional games = 5 total games
- Loch Morrison (Acadia Axemen student-athlete): 5 additional games = 7 total games
- Rodney Southam (Acadia Axemen student-athlete): 5 additional games = 7 total games
- Kris MacDonald (Acadia Axemen assistant coach): 2 total games (served)
- Darren Burns (Acadia Axemen head coach): 8 additional games = 10 total games
- Mark Tremaine (StFX X-Men student-athlete): 2 additional games = 4 total games
- Aaron Hoyles (StFX X-Men student-athlete): 2 additional games = 7 total games
- Dave Stewart (StFX X-Men assistant coach): 1 game total (served)
- Brad Peddle (StFX X-Men head coach): 8 additional games = 10 total games
According to the AUS, the suspensions take effect immediately and will carry over into the 2019-20 regular season if necessary.
“These suspensions are significant, coming at a time of year where most sanctions will be served during the playoffs,” said MacLean in a news release.
“A lot of really fine young people made serious judgement mistakes. I know they will learn from it and move on to bigger and better things. I want to thank everyone for their full cooperation.”
In the days after the brawl, St. Francis Xavier University issued a statement to say that the brawl allegedly began when player Sam Studnicka was targeted with a “derogatory comment related to a sexual assault survivor.”
Acadia player Rodney Southam later issued a statement in which he said he told opposing player Studnicka that he “look[s] like a ****** rapist” — a comment he wishes he could “take back.”
AUS executive director Phil Currie also stated in the release that the organization supports the decision.
We are satisfied with this outcome and commend the work put in by our sport chair in a short amount of time. We have learned many things over the last 10 days. We now have the ability to strengthen our policies and to grow as an organization,” Currie said.
“As we look ahead to this postseason, our focus as a conference will be to ensure that student-athlete safety and respect for others are top priority.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Acadia said they are respecting and adhering to the AUS process.
“We are reviewing the sanctions announced by AUS today, and we are also focusing on preparing for the playoffs that commence tomorrow evening,” the statement reads.
The two teams are set to face off against each other in the opening round of the AUS men’s hockey playoffs on Feb. 13 at St. FX in Antigonish, N.S.
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