ANTIGONISH: The head coach of the StFX X-Men men’s hockey team has been suspended an additional eight games following an investigation by the Atlantic University Sport (AUS).
AUS men’s hockey chair David MacLean handed down his decision February 12 after completing his review.
“These suspensions are significant, coming at a time of year where most sanctions will be served during the play-offs,” MacLean said. “A lot of really fine young people made serious judgment mistakes. I know they will learn from it and move on to bigger and better things.”
X-Men head coach Brad Peddle was handed an additional eight games (10), X-Men assistant coach Dave Stewart was given one game, and X-Men Aaron Hoyles (7) and Mark Tremaine (4) were given additional two game suspensions for their involvement during the brawl which broke out at 9:05 during the third period of AUS hockey action on February 2 in Wolfville.
Phil Currie, executive director of the AUS, said they support the decisions made by the men’s hockey sport chair, and as they look onto the postseason, their focus as a conference will be to ensure student-athlete safety and respect for other are their top priority.
“His review was thorough and included consultation with affected players, officials, former and current university coaches, athletic directors and sport administrators,” he said. “We are satisfied with this outcome and commend the work put in by our sport chair in a short amount of time. We have learned many things over the last 10 days. We now have the ability to strengthen our policies and to grow as an organization.”
In a statement provided to The Reporter on February 13, Leo MacPherson director of athletics and recreation at St. Francis University, said they believe the events that took place were completely avoidable.
“Coach Peddle and Mr. Studnicka have provided clear statements as to what has occurred dating back to the 2016-17 season,” he said. “Including the fact that this issue has been brought to the attention of the Acadia Athletics program in the past.”
MacPherson said the university respects the review and disciplinary process of the AUS – including the right to appeal.
“We will be filing an appeal in respect to Coach Peddle’s total game suspension. The severity of the sanction fails to consider the historical context and the larger issue that ultimately triggered the event,” he said. “We have nothing further to add.”
Wednesday evening, StFX faced off against Acadia in game one of the Subway AUS quarter-final with a 5-0 victory at the Charles V. Keating Centre.
Tempers ignited 12 minutes into the third period when StFX’s Marcus Cuomo and Acadia’s Jack McClelland, who are both natives of St. John’s Newfoundland, squared-up and were sent off with fighting majors.