MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A hockey referee accused of pushing and injuring a teenage player has been placed on leave.
The father of a 14-year-old player says his son ended up with a concussion after his head hit the ice during a Minneapolis Storm Bantum game at Blake Ice Arena earlier this month.
Tied with five minutes to go, the goalie froze the puck and players started pushing. Two were given penalties. While one player waited to get in the box, people watching said the referee went after the 14-year-old.
Some said it looked like the referee pushed his arm up like a football block and hit the boy under the chin, causing him to fall and hit the back of his head on the ice.
The head coach of the Bantum B-1 Storm, Ben Anderson, said he was concerned for the rest of his team’s safety and he said he wanted the game to stop. The referees refused and instead issued what’s called a match penalty, basically removing Anderson from coaching until a formal forum hears his side. He will be suspended for five more games for, according to the league, showing “unnecessary behavior” following the incident.
A spokesperson said that the referee accused of pushing the player was placed on leave while “rumors are swirling.”
The team planned to file a grievance against the referee, that way he’ll be up for a disciplinary hearing. WCCO learned all of the referees involved in that game were high ranking officials with a referee’s association.
Original Report On WCCO (Dec. 6, 2011)