Canadian university hockey often runs a deeper and wider gamut of emotions than other brands of the sports. Each game, due to a shorter season, has more stakes, the rivalries between programs are intense and players who have come up through leagues that do not have an automatic ejection for fighting have to learn to play without that so-called outlet.
In 1996, Moncton Aigles Bleus players assaulted a referee after a delayed call on a season-ending overtime goal. On Saturday, when the Nipissing Lakers were all the all over but the crying stage of their season-ending 8-3 loss to the Trois-Rivières Patriotes in the Ontario University Athletics East division semifinal, a skirmish broke out on the ice. And TVA Sports captured video that shows that Lakers first-year defenceman Brett Cooke, an Ontario Hockey League grad, punched linesman Nicolas Piché at least twice. Piché, in the unabridged footage, looks like he was shaken up. He was not seriously injured and it sounds like he will not press this with the police, but an official does not give implied consent to get punched by a player.
No wonder it's tough for officials to stay in hockey over the long term when they are treated this poorly. Between this and a 17-year-old referee allegedly being kicked by an irate spectator who was upset by the calls made during a novice game, it's been a week of stories about how officials just are not given the respect.Read More »from OHL grad Brett Cook, now with Nipissing Lakers, in trouble for punching linesman in OUA game