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Word of Mouth


I finally got an opportunity to catch a senior baseball game at Centennial Field in Grand Falls-Windsor. 

I tried to incorporate my sports-fan side into my journalist side, which is a mammoth no-no in this line of work.

It’s then you start watching the game more for its entertainment value, and your heart starts pounding when an official (at least in your eyes) misses a penalty or an off-sides call.

Today, I’m glad to say I don’t do that anymore. But, hey, I was young and still a newbie at that point.

However, during the provincial mega bantam tournament in Grand Falls-Windsor, in the very last game I watched, I saw something that once again had my heart beating so hard I thought I was covering my very first hockey game again.

In a bronze-medal game between the St. Anthony Polars and Bishop’s Falls Express, a member of the Polars committed an act so vial and disgusting I honestly believe he should be suspended for the entire 2014/’15 season. I say that without malice, and I say that without any connection to the Express whatsoever.

With a little more than three minutes left in the game and the Polars clinging to a one-goal lead, a member of the Express was skating up the ice with the puck. Chasing him down was a member of the Polars. Suddenly and shockingly, he lifted his stick in a golf-like swing, swung and struck the Bishop’s Falls player in the back of the leg. It was so viscious, the Polars’ player actually broke the blade of his stick.

The referee was right behind the two players and called a penalty. Somehow, the Express player wasn’t hurt.

I find it very hard writing something like this about a young hockey player, but my God, it was one of the worst things I’ve seen in a minor hockey game in 10 years of covering the sport we all love.

I don’t know if the Bishop’s Falls’ player said something during the game that upset the member of the Polars, or if there’s history there, but the incident was jaw-dropping.

Plus, the timing of the act couldn’t have been worse, as St. Anthony was clinging to a one-goal lead in the provincial bronze-medal game.

What triggered it? Was it premeditated?

I guess we’ll never know.

However, something like this cannot go unpunished. Hockey Newfoundland Labrador cannot let such an act go by without sanctions being handed down. I mean, after taking pictures of the game, I literally had to go through what I snapped just to make sure I saw what I thought I saw.

This could have been so much worse, and for the member of the Express that took the slash, it could have ended much more painfully. The slash could have literally shattered his ankle if the blade hit the right spot. He could have been left needing surgery and his hockey future could have been in doubt.

Is it a stretch to say that? I don’t think so.

Such acts can’t go unnoticed, and it doesn’t matter what league or level of hockey. It could be a five-year-old kid, or it could be a 15-year veteran of the Newfoundland and Labrador Senior Hockey League.

Quite frankly, there’s no place for it in the game.

 

matthew.molloy@advertisernl.ca

Twitter: @TiserSports

I tried to incorporate my sports-fan side into my journalist side, which is a mammoth no-no in this line of work.

It’s then you start watching the game more for its entertainment value, and your heart starts pounding when an official (at least in your eyes) misses a penalty or an off-sides call.

Today, I’m glad to say I don’t do that anymore. But, hey, I was young and still a newbie at that point.

However, during the provincial mega bantam tournament in Grand Falls-Windsor, in the very last game I watched, I saw something that once again had my heart beating so hard I thought I was covering my very first hockey game again.

In a bronze-medal game between the St. Anthony Polars and Bishop’s Falls Express, a member of the Polars committed an act so vial and disgusting I honestly believe he should be suspended for the entire 2014/’15 season. I say that without malice, and I say that without any connection to the Express whatsoever.

With a little more than three minutes left in the game and the Polars clinging to a one-goal lead, a member of the Express was skating up the ice with the puck. Chasing him down was a member of the Polars. Suddenly and shockingly, he lifted his stick in a golf-like swing, swung and struck the Bishop’s Falls player in the back of the leg. It was so viscious, the Polars’ player actually broke the blade of his stick.

The referee was right behind the two players and called a penalty. Somehow, the Express player wasn’t hurt.

I find it very hard writing something like this about a young hockey player, but my God, it was one of the worst things I’ve seen in a minor hockey game in 10 years of covering the sport we all love.

I don’t know if the Bishop’s Falls’ player said something during the game that upset the member of the Polars, or if there’s history there, but the incident was jaw-dropping.

Plus, the timing of the act couldn’t have been worse, as St. Anthony was clinging to a one-goal lead in the provincial bronze-medal game.

What triggered it? Was it premeditated?

I guess we’ll never know.

However, something like this cannot go unpunished. Hockey Newfoundland Labrador cannot let such an act go by without sanctions being handed down. I mean, after taking pictures of the game, I literally had to go through what I snapped just to make sure I saw what I thought I saw.

This could have been so much worse, and for the member of the Express that took the slash, it could have ended much more painfully. The slash could have literally shattered his ankle if the blade hit the right spot. He could have been left needing surgery and his hockey future could have been in doubt.

Is it a stretch to say that? I don’t think so.

Such acts can’t go unnoticed, and it doesn’t matter what league or level of hockey. It could be a five-year-old kid, or it could be a 15-year veteran of the Newfoundland and Labrador Senior Hockey League.

Quite frankly, there’s no place for it in the game.

 

matthew.molloy@advertisernl.ca

Twitter: @TiserSports

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