MJAHL president stands beside decision not to suspend Turner

Jason Malloy
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TRURO - The Maritime Junior A Hockey League president re-affirmed his position Wednesday not to suspend an Amherst player after reviewing the videotape from Sunday's game in Truro.
Derryl Smith watched the incident, involving forward Travis Turner and Bearcats announcer Harold Barkhouse, yesterday and said no disciplinary action was needed.
"I don't believe the player was in the wrong," he said. "The off-ice official was the one who initiated the pushing contact."
Smith said Turner moved Barkhouse's arm while trying to shut the penalty box door late in the contest. That's when, according to Smith, Barkhouse pushed Turner and a short shoving match ensued.
"The kid was so controlled he never even dropped his gloves," Smith said.
Barkhouse, who went public with his concerns Tuesday, denies he started the incident but wasn't surprised by the president's decision.
"I am not as upset with what the kid did as I am with the lack of what Derryl Smith did not do," he said.
Barkhouse has resigned from his position due to the league's lack of action.
Bearcats president Keith MacKenzie said the team forwarded the video to the president yesterday even though it was not requested.
He said the executive is disappointed more investigation, including viewing the tape and speaking with Barkhouse, was not done initially and it disagrees with Smith's stance that Barkhouse initiated contact.
"That was not true and the video clearly shows that," MacKenzie said.
But the president said there is little the team can do as the president has autonomy to deal with discipline.
Since his side of the story was published, Barkhouse said he has received tremendous support from as far away as Florida.
"The telephone has hardly stopped ringing here all day," he said. "It's a tremendous feeling simply because you know you've got the support out there."
Some have suggested no action sends a message to players that it is all right to put their hands on officials. That's clearly not the case Smith said noting the league's actions would be totally different if the player started the incident or if it had escalated.
Smith said he doesn't think announcers should be in the penalty box and might even come to the game Sunday between Truro and Amherst to see first-hand the situation.

jmalloy@trurodaily.com

Organizations: Maritime Junior A Hockey League

Geographic location: TRURO, Florida

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