West coast sluggers

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St. John's -

If you haven't heard about it and if you're inside the overpass and only think about the West coast senior league when Herder time approaches, you probably haven't the Clarenville Caribous and the Grand Falls Cataracts had a quite the brouhaha in their Sunday afternoon contest. Here's what we know. The 'Bous Andrew Pearcey high sticked the Cats' Martin Lapointe near the end of the first period. The sticking was enough to draw blood, but went un-penalized by referee Rob Canning. Five seconds into the second frame, the Cats' Mike Tulk jumped Pearcey. At this point, it becomes hard to separate fact from fiction. Allegedly, a couple of Caribous jumped on the ice to the defence of Pearcey (coincidentally, the son of the team's coach, Randy) following by a couple of Cataracts. Which in turned caused the ice surface at the Joe Byrne to erupt into a fisticuffs frenzy. Allegedly. By the time the last fist was thrown, the two teams had amassed seven game misconducts, eight misconducts, eight fighting majors, and a pair of penalties for leaving the bench to engage in an on-ice altercation. Now bring on the suspensions. But contrary to what the message boarders fervently believe, Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador won't have a part in delivering those suspensions. Executive director Craig Tulk explains that the HNL will only step in in situations where gross misconducts or match penalties are handed out. So in this situation, the many suspensions forthcoming (we hope) will be doled out by Gary Gale and the West coast league's executive. HNL's minimum senior suspensions are as follows: * Third man in a fight - 1 game * Any player receiving a fighting major penalty, which is as a result of a second or subsequent fight during the same stoppage of play - 1 game * Any player identified as first to leave the players' bench during a fight - 2 games * Leaving the penalty box during a fight - 3 games * The coach of a team whose player was the first to leave the players' bench or penalty box during a fight - 2 games * The coach whose player left the player bench but is not identified as the first to leave the players' or penalty box during a fight - 1 game There's also some talk that the attack on Pearcey could be deemed premeditated. After the game, our sister paper the Western Star, asked Cataracts General Manager Dave Canning whether it was or not. His response: I don't know, Canning said. You would have to talk to the players involved in it. If you use your stick like that there, you have to expect to pay the price. If you are not going to be man enough to fight somebody, then you should not be playing the game. And he followed it up by warning other teams that the days of the Cataracts being pushovers and ran out of the rink are over. Hmm. That certainly speaks to a certain amount of culpability, but hardly enough to commit the team to a pre-meditated attack. But I get the clear impression he doesnt begrudge his players for taking it to Pearcey. Nothing has been handed out yet, but if the West league abides by HNL's minimum suspension guidelines, next weekend's games in Clarenville between these two clubs should be a bit more tame. All the guilty parties, coaches included, will be watching from the bar.

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  • b
    July 27, 2010 - 13:55

    keep the hockey articles coming, fun to read and know whats going on around the province's hockey scene