It was a violent hockey game for minors in Manitoba, Canada, on Sunday, March 30. Verbal fights gradually transformed into a more physical one. The bantam league championship match between the Lake Manitoba Eagles and the Stonewall Blues was far from what it was supposed to be. The tournament involved players aged around 12 or 13, both boys and girls. One of the players allegedly attacked the referee, which prompted police to be called in.
According to CTV Winnipeg, parents blamed that the game started becoming rough. The more aggression shown on the field, the more the LME players got violent; one of the Stonewall parents said. At some point, they even got involved in physical altercation with the referee, it was alleged. The match had to be stopped 11 minutes before the final whistle due to the aggressive nature the match was being played. It was during that period when one of the LME players tried slapping the referee.
While Peter Mandryk, one of the coaches of the Stonewall Blues, considered the player's behaviour as "awful," LME coach Geoffrey Edwards blamed the referees. Mr Edwards, who is one of the coaches of the team in question, said that the referees swore at his players and made racial comments. He said that children should not have been pushed or sworn at. Mr Mandryk, on the contrary, called the referees "neutral" and said that they had done a "great job."
Mr Mandryk, who is also the president of the Stonewall Minor Hockey and Ringette Association, told Winnipeg Free Press that he had never seen any incident on the field "that bad" in his career. He called the incident "sad" and a "black-eye" for the game. Mr Mandryk worked as the timekeeper in the game.
Mr Mandryk said that a few LME players kicked at the linesman who fell down on the ice. He said that one of the female players of LME tried slapping at the referees and missed narrowly. The incident is under investigation.