Hockey player guilty of aggravated assault for 2012 hit

Gordon MacIsaac has been found guilty of aggravated assault stemming from a 2012 hit during a hockey game in a non-contact men's league.

Sentencing in rare conviction expected in May

Gordon MacIsaac was found guilty last month of aggravated assault for a 2012 on-ice hit during a non-contact senior men's hockey league game. (Roger Dubois/CBC)

A recreational hockey player has been found guilty of aggravated assault for a hit during a game in a non-contact men's league in 2012.

With 47 seconds remaining in a March 2012 game in the Ottawa Senior Men's Hockey League, Gordon MacIsaac and Drew Casterton collided.

Casterton was knocked unconscious, broke two teeth and suffered cuts on his face.

In her decision Tuesday, Ontario court Justice Catherine Kehoe said MacIsaac had tracked Casterton and hit him with a "full-force blindside body and head shot," then skated by the other bench and said it was retaliation for a trip that had happened seconds before. 

She told court the hit fell outside the implied consent that a player might be hurt playing a sport, even in a non-contact league.

MacIsaac, who is now 33, had been convicted of aggravated assault after the initial trial in 2013, but a new trial was ordered after the Ontario Court of Appeal found the judge relied on her knowledge of "hockey strategy" rather than expert testimony.

MacIsaac's sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 19.

Casterton is also suing MacIsaac and the league for $600,000, alleging in his statement of claim the league had heard about MacIsaac's aggressive behaviour and should have banned him from playing.

In response, court documents show the league argues it wasn't negligent and acted reasonably, while MacIsaac said Casterton was an inexperienced player wearing improper gear and the hit was accidental.

None of the claims have been tested in civil court.