Minor hockey coach investigated after allegedly tripping player
Published Wednesday, June 27, 2012 3:38PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 27, 2012 4:32PM EDT
A minor hockey league coach may face assault charges after he allegedly tripped and injured a 13-year-old player during a post-game handshake.
The incident in question took place over the weekend after the UBC Hornets battled the Richmond Steel during the gold-medal match of the University of British Columbia spring hockey league.
The Hornets eventually came out on top with a 5-4 win, in a game Richmond Steel team manager Tammy Hohlweg described as “intense.”
Amateur video obtained by CTV News shows the 11- to 13-year old players as they line up for post-game handshakes. Hornets coach Martin Tremblay follows his players onto the ice.
The video shows Tremblay shaking the goalie’s hand and then skipping the rest of the players, before sticking his foot out in front of the 13-year-old Steel player who is second-last in line.
The player, who is still wearing his skates, falls, taking down the player behind, as well.
One of the players who fell broke his wrist and will have to wear a cast for two weeks, said Hohlweg.
Tremblay said the tripping was an accident, but parents called police.
After the players fall, the video shows a Hornets player throwing a water bottle at the glass.
It also shows Tremblay pointing his middle fingers at the glass.
Some of the players then applaud and some taunt spectators before they are awarded gold medals.
RCMP confirmed that they are interviewing parents and coaches from both teams. The video is also a key piece of evidence.
“Charges are pending,” said RCMP Sgt. Paulena Gidda. “Ultimately, at the end of the day, we’re looking at charges of assault, and possibly assault causing bodily harm, depending on the injuries and where our investigation take us.”
Gidda said she could not confirm that a player’s wrist was broken in the incident.
As the RCMP investigation continues, the University of British Columbia spring league has ended for the season. The spring league lacks a governing body that could launch disciplinary action.
Bill Veenstra, president of the Vancouver Thunderbird Minor Hockey Association, said all coaches are expected to be good ambassadors for their players.
“We certainly have expectations that all of our coaches will exhibit good sportsmanship and, certainly, would not injure and opposing players,” said Veenstra.
No matter what happens, the Richmond Steel manger has an idea about what she would like to see.
“He should not be allowed around kids,” said Hohlweg. “No more coaching for this coach.”
With files from CTV British Columbia’s Shannon Paterson