Erie CC hockey player suspended after hitting referee

March 1, 2017 / Athletic AdministrationHockey
An Erie Community College (N.Y.) hockey player has been suspended one week after leveling a referee during the NJCAA Championship game last weekend.

In a video posted by Sports Illustrated, freshman Brandon Day — his team trailing 7-4 late in the third period — left the penalty box and delivered a brutal hit to one of the referees, who remained on the ground for the duration of the clip. The other referees restrained Day.

Here is video of the incident:

Day was taken into police custody and now faces charges of fourth-degree criminal mischief, second-degree harassment and disorderly conduct, according to the Buffalo News. The incident is still being investigated.

“The act of one player is in no way indicative of our mission as an educational institution, and it does not personify the cordiality and dedication to service instilled in our student body,” Erie Community College President Jack Quinn said. “We regret that this instance marred an otherwise thrilling game between our student athletes and those of Dakota College of Bottineau, and we will handle this situation with all appropriate disciplinary actions.”

Athletic Director Peter Jerebko expressed similar regret over the incident. 

“Our hockey program is one of great sportsmanship both on and off the ice, but last night’s incident was not indicative of that tradition,” he said. “It was the act of a single individual who, today, is deeply remorseful, and is in the process of reaching out to both host Broome County Community College and the game’s official.

“We join him in this remorse, and extend it to the National Junior College Athletic Association, BCCC, champions Dakota College of Bottineau, and the game’s entire officiating crew. This behavior was completely unacceptable, and it will not be tolerated within our athletic program.” 

A one-week suspension could be considered a bit soft for a player who now faces criminal charges and it still under investigation. It’s also possible ECC faces some type of sanctions.

Officials immediately called the game after the incident, giving the Dakota College of Bottineau Lumberjacks the title. The NJCAA has decided to drop the men’s hockey championship after this season.

Second incident 

Day is actually the second hockey player in New York to attack a referee during the month of February. Just a few weeks earlier, a Williamsville East High School player shoved a referee to the ice during a game, earning an immediate ejection and automatic one-game suspension.

Some attacks on referees — like one during a Texas high school football game in 2015 — have earned athletes a permanent ban from the program. There is still no word from Williamsville East on whether there will be any type of additional suspension for their hockey player.

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