A 17-year-old goalie has been charged with assault with a weapon, Niagara police say, after he allegedly hit another player in the head with his stick during a youth hockey game.
Police said they were contacted by a member of the public who reported an assault during a tournament held in Grimsby and the Town of Lincoln from December 10-12.
“During a December 10th game at the Fleming Memorial Arena a player (goalie) intentionally struck an opposing player in the head with their stick,” investigators said in a media release.
There was a “back and forth” between two players during the game before the goalie reportedly swung his stick, Const. Phil Gavin told CBC.
“Obviously during hockey there is some aggressive elements to it, with body contact and things like that. Those are allowable elements of the game,” he said.
“But in this particular case it was believed that threshold was overstepped and it met the grounds for a criminal charge.”
The goalie was ejected from the game and the tournament, said police.
Gavin said the other player’s helmet did what it was supposed to do and protected them. They were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and have since been released to continue recovering at home.
Police said a 17-year-old from Grimsby has been charged with assault with a weapon.
No further details were released as the Youth Criminal Justice Act bars police from identifying him.
Gavin said assault charges from hockey games are “not a common occurrence” for Niagara police.
While sports can offer many good aspects, he said it’s important to keep a cool head, even in the heat of competition.
“In the end it is a game and you should be able to walk away without lasting injuries,” said Gavin.
“You’d hate to see a spur of the moment decision impact people’s lives whether it be through injury or in this particular case, the judicial process.”
The teen has been released pending a future court date.