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RCMP called to Bell Island hockey game


It’s not the ending to a championship tournament anybody involved in minor hockey wants to see.

Rather than the winning team celebrating after the final buzzer sounded, the game ended after three coaches were ejected, and the ejected head coach took his team off the ice.

That’s what happened Sunday, when the Bell Island Miners — playing in their home rink — faced off against the Sheshatshiu Eagles for the Bantam F provincial finals.

The game ended 4-2 in favour of Bell Island after Sheshatshiu’s head coach, George Cabot, was kicked out of the game with roughly three minutes left in the third period.

According to Cabot, he had choice words for the referee after one of his players was checked from behind, and only a two-minute minor was called. Cabot claims the officiating was one-sided throughout the game.

“With the last three minutes of the game, I got kicked out because one of my kids got hit from behind and buddy only got a two-minute penalty, where two of my kids hit those guys and automatically got kicked out of the game,” said Cabot.

“The referee’s discretion was not a very good discretion. It was all one-sided. We’d be lucky if we played, during the whole game, 15 minutes, five on five. We were continuously in the box.”

Cabot said he decided to take his players off the ice for safety reasons after the questionable hit in the third period.

It’s not unusual for head coaches to get booted out of minor hockey games and for an assistant coach to take over. In this case, however, Cabot was the last one standing for the Sheshatshiu Eagles, besides a team trainer. Earlier in the game, both of his assistants were ejected after they got angry about the officiating.

Cabot doesn’t blame his coaches for their anger or for getting ejected.

“They had enough; they had enough of the unfairness and they got upset and pissed off,” said Cabot. “And I agree with my two coaches getting kicked out because I said, ‘If anybody gets kicked out, I’m going to have to be the last one kicked out.’”

At one point in the game somebody at the arena called the police, worried that the situation might escalate.

“One of the ladies thought there might have been a confrontation and called, and we attended as more of a courtesy. But there was no issues,” said Sgt. Curtis Ashford of the Bell Island RCMP.

“There were no confrontations. The team from Sheshatshiu was good; they left the ice before the game was over and they left the arena …”

Cabot intends to write a letter of complaint to Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador. In his opinion, the officiating was biased against Sheshatshiu.

“Big-time bias … no other way to describe it,” said Cabot.

“Hockey NL has got to put better referees in place. I mean, people pay a lot of money to go to those tournaments. They expect better officiating then what we’re getting.”

Jack Lee, president of Hockey NL, said he wasn’t at the game, but disputes any notion of biased officiating.

“In my history of being involved in Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador, four years as president … seven years total, I have not seen any official who was biased in any way to one team or the other,” said Lee.

“These referees are human. Do they make mistakes? Sure they do. Do they always get the right calls? No they don’t. But they try to control the game.”

Lee said he’s received a report on the incident from the tournament’s co-ordinator, but wouldn’t say what was in it.

Lee expressed his respect for Cabot as Sheshatshiu’s hockey co-ordinator, but also said Cabot should have kept a cooler head, instead of getting himself kicked out.

“If I have a problem with the officials, I try to settle my team down … ” said Lee.

“George got (thrown out) at the end. He knew he was the only (coach) left.”

The Labradorian contacted Bell Island Minor Hockey president Dwayne Yetman, but he said he was advised by Hockey NL not to comment.

 

 

Rather than the winning team celebrating after the final buzzer sounded, the game ended after three coaches were ejected, and the ejected head coach took his team off the ice.

That’s what happened Sunday, when the Bell Island Miners — playing in their home rink — faced off against the Sheshatshiu Eagles for the Bantam F provincial finals.

The game ended 4-2 in favour of Bell Island after Sheshatshiu’s head coach, George Cabot, was kicked out of the game with roughly three minutes left in the third period.

According to Cabot, he had choice words for the referee after one of his players was checked from behind, and only a two-minute minor was called. Cabot claims the officiating was one-sided throughout the game.

“With the last three minutes of the game, I got kicked out because one of my kids got hit from behind and buddy only got a two-minute penalty, where two of my kids hit those guys and automatically got kicked out of the game,” said Cabot.

“The referee’s discretion was not a very good discretion. It was all one-sided. We’d be lucky if we played, during the whole game, 15 minutes, five on five. We were continuously in the box.”

Cabot said he decided to take his players off the ice for safety reasons after the questionable hit in the third period.

It’s not unusual for head coaches to get booted out of minor hockey games and for an assistant coach to take over. In this case, however, Cabot was the last one standing for the Sheshatshiu Eagles, besides a team trainer. Earlier in the game, both of his assistants were ejected after they got angry about the officiating.

Cabot doesn’t blame his coaches for their anger or for getting ejected.

“They had enough; they had enough of the unfairness and they got upset and pissed off,” said Cabot. “And I agree with my two coaches getting kicked out because I said, ‘If anybody gets kicked out, I’m going to have to be the last one kicked out.’”

At one point in the game somebody at the arena called the police, worried that the situation might escalate.

“One of the ladies thought there might have been a confrontation and called, and we attended as more of a courtesy. But there was no issues,” said Sgt. Curtis Ashford of the Bell Island RCMP.

“There were no confrontations. The team from Sheshatshiu was good; they left the ice before the game was over and they left the arena …”

Cabot intends to write a letter of complaint to Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador. In his opinion, the officiating was biased against Sheshatshiu.

“Big-time bias … no other way to describe it,” said Cabot.

“Hockey NL has got to put better referees in place. I mean, people pay a lot of money to go to those tournaments. They expect better officiating then what we’re getting.”

Jack Lee, president of Hockey NL, said he wasn’t at the game, but disputes any notion of biased officiating.

“In my history of being involved in Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador, four years as president … seven years total, I have not seen any official who was biased in any way to one team or the other,” said Lee.

“These referees are human. Do they make mistakes? Sure they do. Do they always get the right calls? No they don’t. But they try to control the game.”

Lee said he’s received a report on the incident from the tournament’s co-ordinator, but wouldn’t say what was in it.

Lee expressed his respect for Cabot as Sheshatshiu’s hockey co-ordinator, but also said Cabot should have kept a cooler head, instead of getting himself kicked out.

“If I have a problem with the officials, I try to settle my team down … ” said Lee.

“George got (thrown out) at the end. He knew he was the only (coach) left.”

The Labradorian contacted Bell Island Minor Hockey president Dwayne Yetman, but he said he was advised by Hockey NL not to comment.

 

 

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