Refereeing questioned as young hockey player concussed
Gander parents say ref wasn't handing out penalties for head shots
A young hockey player from Gander suffered a concussion over the weekend in a game that some people are saying got out of hand.
It happened Sunday in La Scie, during the bantam final between Lewisporte and Gander.
The score was 6-0, near the end of the third period, when the linesman left the ice.
Dave Cheeks was watching his son play from the stands. He is also president of the Gander Minor Hockey Association.
"I had a genuine fear there was going to be an injury of some kind, over and above what had already happened," Cheeks said. "I intervened and asked the ref to call the game."
Gander parents complained that the referee wasn't handing out penalties for head shots — which caused one player to leave with a concussion.
They said the situation prompted the linesman to leave the game.
But Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador's chief referee Don Kelly said the linesman left after a coach said something he took exception to.
In the end, Gander forfeited the game.
Cheeks said two referees would have been better.
"Well I was concerned about everybody's safety. I didn't want anyone to get injured, a Lewisporte player or a Gander player, and obviously my own son was out there — and I was concerned that he could get injured," said Cheeks.
HNL defended the official, saying the referee is an experienced official who believes he had control of the game.