West Shore RCMP are investigating an alleged assault of a Victoria Grizzlies player after an incident near the end of a B.C. Hockey League game on Saturday night at Bear Mountain Arena.
Grizzlies defenceman Chris Albertini filed a complaint with the West Shore RCMP alleging Chilliwack Chiefs assistant coach Brandon Fleenor flung a hockey stick at him, striking him in the side of his head.
Albertini, who was not in the lineup that evening, was between the benches when tempers flared in the game’s last minute.
“I reported it to the police, but nothing has officially come of it. I have filed a complaint,” Albertini said. “There is no room for that in hockey, for a coach to lose his temper like that.”
West Shore RCMP spokeswoman Kathy Rochlitz confirmed Thursday that police are in the “initial stages of an investigation.”
Albertini, a 20-year-old native of Hampton, Ont., admitted to “chirping” at the Chilliwack bench late in the game. He said he was struck as Fleenor flung the stick at him in a “spear-fishing” motion.
The events, which took place with roughly 10 seconds remaining in the game, began a chain reaction of hostility between the players, who were violently pushing on the glass that separates the visitors’ bench from the hosts.
The incident was caught on tape by Grizzlies’ videographer Roy Anthonisen, who posted it online. The video has since been taken down.
During the final moments of the Jan. 12 game, Grizzlies general manager and head coach Bill Bestwick left the bench to attempt to gain control of his players. He was given a game misconduct at the time.
At the final whistle, a brawl erupted on the ice.
A number of players from both teams are facing suspensions, announced Thursday.
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