OXFORD - Hockey Nova Scotia suspended five minor midget AAA players and launched a full investigation into the cause of a melee outside the Oxford Arena Saturday night.
Tempers heated on ice during a game between rival teams Cumberland County and Brookfield flared outside, drawing both players and parents into a physical altercation.
"We received numerous reports of what took place and as a result of that Hockey Nova Scotia Minor Council suspended two players immediately, indefinitely pending a full investigation," said Darren Cossar, executive director of Hockey Nova Scotia, Tuesday afternoon.
"We have started an investigation to get more facts and there will be a further three players suspended when notices go out."
Three Cumberland County players and two Brookfield players will be receiving suspensions.
Cumberland County RCMP is also investigating the post-game brawl.
At least three players were injured, two of which were taken to hospital for observation.
One young hockey player suffered a broken nose and requires dental surgery to treat his injuries.
Cossar said this incident is a great concern to his organization.
"I've been here nearly six years and this is the first time I've had to deal with a full on altercation outside an arena," said the executive director. "If it happens once, it's a big issue."
He doesn't believe violence in the sport is escalating but feels there is an increased awareness of issues that need to be addressed and brought into the public eye.
"At the end of the day when we suspend or punish someone it is about a change in behaviour," he said.
Hockey Nova Scotia will analyze all information it uncovers about the events leading up to the altercation, including past matches, on ice interaction and a face-to-face meeting will be held to bring the South Colchester Minor Hockey Association and Cumberland Minor Hockey Association together to discuss the incident with an aim to resolve any possibility of further conflicts.
Cumberland County RCMP is seeking public input to complete its investigation. Anyone who may have witnessed or participated in the altercation is asked to call the Oxford detachment at 1-902-447-2525.