LANTZ: Tempers flared after a Midget ‘A’ game at the East Hants Sportsplex on Dec. 13. The Midget ‘A’ Penguins were hosting the Halifax Hawks at a home game in the area, when a fight broke out in the stands – eventually spilling out into the lobby of the building.
“With any incident where it is suspected a member of EHMHA may have been involved in or witness to improper behavior, our Discipline Committee undertakes an internal investigation,” explained Les Barkhouse, Vice-President of the East Hants Minor Hockey Association. “The investigation in no way implies guilt on anyone’s part; it is simply our standard procedure to ensure our Board has accurate information about the incident. As of right now, that internal investigation is in process.”
Constable Les Kakonyi, of the Enfield RCMP was able to help shed some light on the incident;
“We can certainly confirm that the Enfield RCMP were called on the thirteenth of December, at around 10:04 p.m. to the arena in Lantz,” said Kakonyi. “The initial brawl was that there was a brawl in the lobby of the area, and that it was involving teams that had just played. By the time our members had arrived at the scene, most of the participants had fled from the scene.
“There was no confrontation (once on scene),” continued Kakonyi. “Our members spoke with the arena manager whom had confirmed that there was a Midget ‘A’ hockey game taking place between an East Hants team and a Halifax team. It was a particularly rough game that night – aggressive, and it appeared that emotions were running quite high during that event, and that those emotions had spilled over into the lobby.”
The Weekly Press spoke with the RCMP during the early stages of the investigation, so exact details were still unknown at that point in time.
“It appears that during our initial investigation, both parents and players had been involved,” said Kakonyi. “In terms of who the aggressors were – it was not overly apparent. We were approached by a parent whom had indicated that he had received some injuries, and he was involved in a fight.”
Kakonyi confirmed that the presence of video surveillance in the arena will be aiding the RCMP investigation into the cause of the brawl.
“As you may or may not know, the arena does have video surveillance,” said Kakonyi. “So as a result of the complaint that was received by parents (The arena manager did not file a complaint, as they felt the fights that occurred after the game were consensual.) we will be reviewing the footage.
“In any event, it’s still under investigation,” continued Kakonyi. “There’s been no determination yet if charges will be laid. It’s still too early to establish which charges may or may not be laid. We have asked to view the video surveillance, and members are reviewing that, and they will determine from there.”
There were no reported major injuries as a result of the tussle either.
“From all indications there were no serious injuries as a result of the event,” said Kakonyi. “It seems to have been a particularly heated game -emotions got away from folks and spilled over into the lobby. The initial call was to break up the fight, and by the time our members arrived, there was no fight to break up.”
Shortly after the incident the EHMHA President Ryan Isenor issued a public statement about the event.
“On behalf of the EHMHA Board, I would like to make one point very clear. All incidences that have occurred are at no time the fault of the facility and or Ice Pad ‘B’. There are several facilities around the province that have a similar design. All incidences have one common theme; lack of control, lack of respect, and are embarrassing to all involved and to those who have witnessed these actions.
All EHMHA Board Members sign a “Respect Contract” at the beginning of the Hockey Season and this year our Novice and IP Parents have completed an on-line version. I would suggest that all parents, players, and volunteers review this contract and ensure that all information with in this document is abided by.”
The statement concluded with a public warning for EHMHA members who are involved with such an incident in the future.
“Finally, effective December 15, 2012, any EHMHA Member who is involved in verbal and or physical off-ice altercations at any hockey related function will be suspended indefinitely by the EHMHA Board until further review.”
The incident comes hot on the heels of the Hockey Nova Scotia-mandated online respect course deadline – of which all minor hockey parents were to have completed by Dec. 1, or face their child being removed from Minor Hockey programs.