UPDATED: Crushers pull out of exhibition game with Bearcats

Christopher Cameron
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In the wake of the events during Thursday’s exhibition game between the Weeks Crushers and Truro Bearcats the Weeks organization will not be travelling to Truro on Saturday for their scheduled game with the Bearcats.

Truro’s Philip Fife appeared to make a gesture during the game mocking one of the Crushers players who has Tourette's.

The MHL has yet to rule on the case. League president Darryl Smith said he didn’t have all the information for the league to make a decision on Friday.

“To my knowledge there’s an alleged incident that took place, which we will look at and follow the proper steps to address it,” said Smith. “I don’t have all the information right now, so we’re awaiting that and will make a decision once we have everything.”

Weeks Hockey Organization president Wade Taylor said the choice to cancel the game was made by the executive members of the organization, not by the coaching staff or players.

“We ended up cancelling the game and will not be going to it after spending the day today having conversations and looking at it,” said Taylor. “We have a lot of emotionally charged athletes and we feel that it’s not in the best interest of – for safety reasons for the game or the integrity of the league – to go and play a game that could result in way too skirmishes or off-side behaviours.We’re looking to protect that.”

Smith said there is a process for appeal and process for video review for supplementaldiscipline. He said this would fall under the latter. He said although cases of players being mocked aren’t a regular occurrence they have had to deal with similar cases in the past.

“Right now it’s too early to know what steps will be taken because like I said I don’t have all the information yet,” he said. “We’re looking for the video footage and from there we will review it and use the same process we’ve used in the past.

“At this time we don’t have the information to make a decision or statement.”

Fife said he couldn't comment and that Truro Bearcats head coach Shawn Evans had to be contacted. Evans declined to comment. Stuart Rath, the owner of the organization, said he had no comment, but that the team islooking at the issue internally at this time.

The Crushers will take tomorrow off before travelling to Summerside for their final exhibition game.



Original game story:

NEW GLASGOW – A gesture by a Truro Bearcats player making fun of a Weeks Jr. A  Crusher's player with Tourette's changed a good hard-fought Maritime Junior Hockey League preseason game between the teams into one that featured pushing, shoving and fighting.

“It’s only exhibition games and it’s nice to see the intensity on the ice out there, but there’s lines that should never be crossed,” said Weeks Hockey Organization president Wade Taylor. “We addressed a medical issue of one of our young players last year with Stu Rath (president of the Truro Bearcats) through him to Shawn Evans (Bearcats head coach) about a young guy that has Tourette’s

“When we have young kids coming up to us in the stands crying about the disrespect on the ice and seeing Truro’s captain Philip Fife and the actions and that being tolerated by a coach that’s supposed to be respected by the league.

“I really hope the Maritime Hockey League steps up because that’s the stuff that can become detrimental to the league and there’s absolutely no excuse.”

Taylor said that he was fine with the loss, saying “you win or lose on the ice”. He said that when someone is made fun of because of their medical situation “that it’s time for you to go” and “it’s a black mark.”

He had no further comment on the actions on the ice, saying only that he was told the issue had been addressed, but it didn’t appear to be. The Bearcats team had left the Wellness Centre before being able to be reached for a comment.

Assistant coach Chad McDavid said he was obviously not happy with how the game ended, but was happy with his team’s play.

“Not the non-hockey side of things – I don’t think we wanted it to end that way, but as far as the game goes it is what it is, our second preseason game and the first game for 11 of our returning guys so we weren’t expecting our guys to come out and be in mid-season form by any means,” said McDavid. “I thought we competed pretty well for the most part and once we get a few more exhibition games and practices we’ll be right where we want to be come the start of the season.”

Before the actions at the end of the game the Bearcats led the Crushers 3-1, with Truro notching a pair in the third to pad their one goal lead from the second period. Justin Ritcey started for the Crushers, playing 29:22 of the game, before making way for Brandon Thibeau who played the remainder of the second and third periods.

Shortly after coming into the game Thibeau gave up a rebound in front off Daniel Poliziani’s shot to Jean-Marc Renaud who buried the puck in the open net.

The Crushers had a pair of opportunities on the powerplay to tie the game in the second, but couldn’t cash in.

Both goals in the third weren’t deemed to be Thibeau’s fault after turnovers by the Crushers in their own end. McDavid said things will improve, as it’s only early.

“If you look back at all three, all three goals are blatant mistakes on our part and a lot of pucks were turned over in areas where in March or even at Christmas time the turnovers don’t happen there, but like I said it’s the first game for a lot of guys and we’re still working out the kinks,” said McDavid. “Brandon I don’t think had a shot on any of those, they were really good plays.”

The Crushers will practice today before two exhibition games on Saturday in Truro and Sunday in Summerside.

“At the end of the day the boys will leave the rink and what happened tonight will be in the past and we’ll come to the rink tomorrow and have a good practice to get ready for Saturday and Sunday,” said McDavid. “For a lot of the guys it’s the last two games for them to earn a spot on our team.

“We still have six or seven guys competing for spots so to play a team like Truro – they always a competitive team every year so to see where some of those news guys that are competing for spots are against a team like that is why we line up exhibition games against teams like that.”


Pictou County Weeks Crushers 1

3rd Garrett Holmes from David Stephens and Mitchell Deruelle 18:44


Truro Bearcats 3

2nd Jean-Marc Renaud from Daniel Poliziani and Jeff Hanes 13:32

3rd Brandon Pye from Daniel Perigo 12:39

3rd Jeff Hanes from Jean-Marc Renaud and Brandon Bazinet 16:45



Crushers 36

Bearcats  30


Power play

Crushers 1-6

Bearcats 0-3


W:  Jordan Kennedy 35 saves 

L: Justin Ritcey 11 saves

Brandon Thibeau 16 saves

*Crushers goalies changed at 10:38 of the second period




On Twitter: @NGNewsChris

Organizations: Maritime Junior Hockey League, Weeks Junior A Crushers, Weeks Hockey Organization Wellness Centre

Geographic location: NEW GLASGOW, Summerside, Pictou County

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Recent comments

  • killerkthezonemhl
    September 10, 2013 - 11:41

    I highly recommend reading the interview with Garrett. This really tells the story the best. It was not an over reaction, the Crushers do not have a "goon squad". All I can say is what is in this for Garret and the Crushers? Kudos to the Crushers organization for standing up against a bad situation. Fife not being penalized does not mean he was not guilty.

  • Bearcats Fan
    September 07, 2013 - 18:58

    Well said Peter Puck I was at this game as well and the story seems to be one one sided and now the Truro Fans that were not there are thinking that it all comes back on Fife. What I saw was two teams that get under each others skin and bad feelings from playoffs. Glad Holmes is able to play hockey with Tourette's. Kenny Arsenault you should hear the whole story of these actions before you put the blame on our Captain or maybe the video shold be posted online for people to see. Here's to a great season of Hockey

  • Peter Puck
    September 07, 2013 - 12:42

    Crushers brass are making a mountain out of a molehill. I wonder if the MJHL will look into the goon tactics of the Crushers trying to run the Truro players in the last minute...which backfired anyway. Sounds kind of one-sided if you ask me. I was at the game, am a Crushers fan, and saw nothing but a great exhibition game between 2 teams battling that do not like each other. For those of you that are going on about this so called attack on Holmes b/c of his condition....have any of you ever played competitive hockey? Horrible things are said to players all of the time at ice level to knock the opposition off of their game. This is no different. Is it right?? HELL NO!!!.... But it will continue to happen. A lot worse things have been said on the ice pertaining to wives, girlfriends, parents, kids, or whatever strikes a nerve. Perhaps the Crusher brass, instead of grasping at straws and cancelling the game, should go over there and try to beat Truro on their home ice to get back at them. Like I said, I was at the game and saw nothing but Malone going crazy on the bench and sending out his goon squad. I saw Evans on the Truro bench looking at him like he was crazy. I do not see how a video of this game will prove anything... will only prove that the Crushers were using bush league moves at the end of an exhibition game that means nothing. Feelings and pride are still hurt from the game 7 loss last season I guess. Time to microphone all of the players MJHL!!! I am sure the Crushers players would never say anything rude or obnoxious to another player on the ice...right Wade Taylor!!

    • kenny arsenault
      September 07, 2013 - 16:20

      Peter puck your Not much of a fan to say that what if it was your team and your captain. It is not nice to makefun any one that has some thing wrong with them i have a sick kid and if some one siad. Any thing about him look out and my son and i are big time fans

    • MHL fan
      September 07, 2013 - 18:56

      Of course words are shared in junior hockey but without a doubt in my mind, Fife crossed a line. He used pitiful judgement. He acted like a pathetic bully. I'm glad my kid wasn't there to see it.

  • bobby fore
    September 07, 2013 - 07:34

    classy one, truro.

  • Hockey Fan
    September 06, 2013 - 09:30

    WOW this is terrible! Here I always thought the "C" was given to someone who deserved it, a person to look up to as a team, a role model. If the rest of the team is looking up to this guy, you guys are in for trouble as a community. I bet almost everyone of this organization whether it be a player, coach, management, or sponor has a family member, friend or knows someone with a medical condition or handicap and it makes you anger when they maked fun of or stared at. I personally work for a company that sponors different organizations and if this was one of them, I would be pulling out very quickly, as this is making you all look very bad to be supporting this behavior. Hopefully the organization and league give a harsh punishment for this and strip the "C". If not you as a BEAR CAT community & organziation are all guilty and should be ashamed of yourselves.

  • seasonial Crusher fan
    September 06, 2013 - 09:08

    Well said "Crusher Fan" Where is the Bearcats "C" leadership ? I also agree .strip the "C" and a suspension be given as well ! Go Crushers Go !!!

  • hockey fan
    September 06, 2013 - 08:57

    Fife's behaviour was that of a playground bully not a young man and certainly not a "captain".

    September 06, 2013 - 08:18

    I am totally disgusted by what I saw on the ice last night by the Truro captain. I have a 10 year old who plays hockey and worships these kids as role models. Hockey is a high paced and aggressive sport which often spills over to fighting along with the odd 'Dirty Play' or 'Cheap Shot'; however, there are lines that should never be crossed. It was very difficult to explain to my son what happened and the severity of what was done. I am hopeful the player regrets his actions but a message needs to be sent loud and clear. Strip the 'C' and a lengthy suspension for the sake of the game and the fans who admire and respect these young men who give everything, everytime they step on the ice. To the Crusher player. Keep your head high and be proud of who you are and what you have accomplished. You are a fan favorite for sure.

    • Sylvie
      September 11, 2013 - 12:23

      Tourette syndrome is painfull, i feel he stood up for all the times my kids got bullies because of the tics that seems to make people laugh or give them the right to laugh at a difference. I'm nor mad i'm crying overwelm by the cruelty of the mockerie. (sorry for the mistake i'm french soeaking)