Five local players sent to hospital

Posse coach says poor officiating is putting players at risk

Princeton Posse fought two bloody battles with Revelstoke on the weekend.

 

Princeton Posse coach Geoff Goodman is in a tussle with the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League after the local club lost a quarter of its roster to injuries over two games on the weekend.

He said the Posse blood is on the hands of the officials.

“The officials on Saturday just allowed the game to be played like it was 1970 and you could just do what you wanted.”

In an interview with the Spotlight league president Bill Ohlihausen vigorously defended the KIJHL.

“The league has nothing to do with the protection of players. The referees are assigned by BC Hockey, and BC Hockey is responsible for training those officials to do the job right and I think they do…This is just a ploy to say we are not concerned and I don’t want that.”

Six Posse players were hurt on the weekend, in split decisions against Revelstoke. Five of them were taken to hospital.

Goodman characterized the Revelstoke Grizzlies as “borderline dangerous.”

Parker Thibert suffered a broken nose after being elbowed in the face Friday night, and Kirt Fortney will be out of the line up for between four to six weeks with a dislocated shoulder.  The Posse went on to beat the Grizzlies 4-1.

The following night Louis Shortreed and Trae St. Pierre received concussions, Kole Halvorson dislocated his shoulder and Anders Saarela left the ice with a knee injury.

The Posse lost 5-2.

Goodman said the referee Saturday night did not control the game to keep players safe.

“If you are allowing teams to take head shots and hits from behind and take three or four step runs at players and not penalize those things then you are allowing that to continue.”

Following the game Goodman shot off a letter of complaint to the KIJHL and wants to take additional steps against the referees. At press time the Grizzlies had not released the team’s video which is necessary to pursue the action.

Goodman was bounced from the bench partway through Saturday’s game and faces a two game suspension. “It became obvious as the game went on and on that the official didn’t give a crap about what was happening and that he was dictating the outcome of the game. “

“At that point I just had to tell the referee my piece and tell him how I thought of how he officiated the game. Part of it is to let off some steam and part of it is to let the players know that you are defending them.”

Ohlihausen questioned the veracity of Goodman’s claims.

“A lot of these people exaggerate a lot of things…I’ve never heard of a quarter of a team going to the hospital ever, ever. So you take that for what it’s worth.”

Ohlihausen said Goodman has complained previously about officiating in the KIJHL.

Goodman concurred.

 

“We’ve talked about this before. We’ve talked about the way the league is officiated and managed and it just reared its ugly head on us this weekend.”