Suspension: SAIT Hockey - Duncan
( Commissioner's Rulings )
January 7, 2013
Pursuant to Article I Section 13 Rule 9.11 of the ACAC Operating Code, NAIT has submitted video footage of the incident and has asked for an extraordinary review.
I have had the opportunity to review the footage of the incident. The incident took place along the NAIT blue line as SAIT was attacking. A SAIT player carries the puck down the boards and cuts to her right as she approaches the NAIT blue line. NAIT’s Vanessa Klimpke moves toward the puck carrier, who moves to her right to get around Ms. Klimpke at the blue line. As she does so, SAIT’s Mackenzie Duncan, coming from the Ms. Klimpke’s blind side, violently impacts with Ms. Klimpke.
SAIT’s response to my request for input on the hit was that it was an unfortunate collision that takes place in a fast paced game. Their position is that Ms. Duncan was trying to clear the NAIT zone to avoid an offside.
I disagree with SAIT’s version of events. Having viewed video footage of the incident several times, it is my opinion that the hit by Ms. Duncan appeared to be intentional. At a minimum, she made absolutely no attempt to avoid striking Ms. Klimpke when she clearly could have done so. She also appears to raise her arms to contact Ms. Klimpke’s upper body. Additionally, Ms. Klimpke was in an extremely vulnerable position at the time of impact, which is an aggravational factor.
As I have said in previous rulings, I am reluctant to put myself in the position of the referee, who is usually in a far better position to assess the play in question, based on his or her proximity to the incident. However, in this case, it is my opinion that a penalty should have been called on the play. I am not in a position to decide whether the penalty should have been a major penalty although I feel that a major could easily have been justified under the circumstances.
In this instance, it is my finding that supplemental discipline is warranted based on the severity of the hit, the vulnerable position of the injured player as well as the seriousness of the injury. Therefore, Ms. Duncan is hereby suspended for two (2) games, to be served as follows:
January 10, 2013 vs. RDC