The group that regulates hockey in Newfoundland and Labrador has suspended two minor hockey teams for a post-game fight last weekend that sent a teen to hospital in St. John's for surgery.
The Fogo Island Hawks and the Lewisporte Sea Hawks were told Tuesday they wouldn't be allowed to play until Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador completes an investigation into the Feb. 14 incident at a game in the central Newfoundland community of Lewisporte.
Fogo Island player Matthew Brett, 17, of Joe Batt's Arm needed surgery to put three metal plates in his head and 42 stitches after the fight in Lewisporte.
Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador president Gerry Evans said he was sickened and shocked when he heard Brett required an operation.
"Anything happens like that again, we'll be addressing it. Any time there's a major fight … there'll be suspensions," he said.
Todd Manuel, the head of the minor hockey association in Lewisporte, said there were between 10 and 20 players scuffling on the ice after the game. He said didn't know who's responsible for starting the fight, which began after the game.
"We tried to stress to the kids that it could have been one of our kids [who needed surgery] and injuries are serious and that when you throw punches you can do some damage. We didn't take it lightly," he said.
Matthew's father, Corey Brett, said his wife "was sitting up in the stands and she was singing out to me 'they got the helmet off Matthew and they're pounding his head.'"
Afterwards, Brett said, his son told him he was seeing double. They went to see a doctor in Lewisporte who sent them to the hospital in Grand Falls-Windsor for a CT scan.
The family was then told they would have to go to Janeway Children's Hospital in St. John's for surgery on Matthew's sinus channel.
"It was broke into five pieces, and he had a fracture under his eye as well," his father said.
Even though Matthew needed surgery, he won't suffer permanent damage.
"If that kid could come look at my son and apologize for what's after happening, I might be quite satisfied with that, I don't know. That's between me and my wife," Matthew's father said.
The RCMP are still investigating a brawl that broke out after a game between the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts and the Clarenville Caribous in Clarenville on the same evening.