2 teen girls charged for assaulting Manitoba hockey refs

Two teenage girls have been charged with assault after a hockey tournament turned into a brawl in Stonewall.
A March 30 hockey game between the Stonewall Blues and a team from the Lake Manitoba First Nation erupted in fights on and off the ice. (CBC)

Two teenage girls have been charged with assault after a hockey tournament turned into a brawl in Stonewall.

It happened during a minor hockey league championship game on March 30 between the Stonewall Blues and Lake Manitoba First Nation Eagles.

The three game refs were the targets of a puck shot by a 14-year-old girl on the Lake Manitoba team, according to RCMP. Two of those refs were also physically struck by a 13-year-old girl from the same team.

There were no serious injuries, police said.

The 14 year old is charged with assault with a weapon and the 13 year old is charged with assault.

The game had been chippy and numerous penalties had been called against Lake Manitoba. It was in the third period, when the refs had their backs turned during a stoppage in play, that the 14-year-old girl wound up and shot the puck.

A linesman happened to turn to see her and yelled at the other two, Doug Zeller, a Manitoba referee coordinator told CBC News in April.

"She took a full slapshot at two referees that had their backs to her and didn't know it was happening until the linesman yelled at them to tell them that she was taking a shot at them," said Zeller. "What if she would have hit them?"

The game then disintegrated into fights between players and even some parents in the stands. The referees were assaulted while trying to break up the brawls on the ice.

Ultimately, the RCMP had to be called in to help clear out the players and about 100 people from the Stonewall arena.

Hockey Manitoba suspends players

In addition to the criminal charges, some Lake Manitoba players have also been suspended from play by Hockey Manitoba.

The 14 year old who shot the puck is out until Jan 1, 2015. Another, who shoved an official while being escorted off the ice, is suspended until Dec. 15.

And another, who punched a linesman twice in back of head and punched a ref in the groin, is out until Sept. 1, 2015.

RCMP did not identify which one of those was the 13-year-old girl.

Meanwhile, Zeller has spoken with his referees and said they refuse to ref for Lake Manitoba next season.

He said his referees are there to make sure kids playing stay safe, but he says they won't put themselves in the position where they're going to be put in danger.