Hockey at all levels can be a bit of a powder keg. Emotions run high and things can bubble over at any moment. But at a youth hockey game between girls' teams in the Stonewall, Manitoba on March 30, things got particularly heated and ended up devolving into a full-on brawl that even involved the referees and spectators.
As a result, two girls, age 14 and 13, were recently charged with assault for allegedly attacking the game officials. Both girls arrested play for the Lake Manitoba First Nation Eagles.
This was CBC's initial report about the brawl from back in March:
The contentious game escalated in the third period when one of the Lake Manitoba girls allegedly fired a slap shot at one of the officials. After that, the brawl broke out. Even people in the stands involved in the fracas. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were called to the scene to break up the fight and clear out about 100 people from the arena in Stonewall.
The three game refs were the targets of a puck shot by a 14-year-old girl on the Lake Manitoba team, according to RCMP. Two of those refs were also physically struck by a 13-year-old girl from the same team.
The 14 year old is charged with assault with a weapon and the 13 year old is charged with assault.
In addition to criminal charges, CBC reported three girls have been suspended by Hockey Manitoba for their role in the brawl. The 14-year-old is banned from playing until Jan. 1, 2015. Another girl is suspended until Dec. 15. An additional player, who allegedly punched a linesman in the back of the head and groin is out until Sept. 1, 2015.
There's a lot of moving parts to this ordeal as Lake Manitoba fans and parents disputed the reason for the girls' behavior. One attendee at the game, Margaret Swan, told CBC the referees were using abusive language towards the Lake Manitoba girls and even shoved some of the players.
Swan believed race played a role as the girls from Lake Manitoba are aboriginals from the local First Nations tribe.
Regardless of which side you want to believe in this one, this kind of behavior from anyone – kids, parents, coaches and officials – is incredibly disappointing. Sometimes youth sports get taken too seriously and, even though emotions may run high, this one went way too far. Sadly, now it is a criminal issue.
(h/t Puck Daddy)