GRAVENHURST - The South Muskoka Shield seemed to be skating their way to a College Showcase Classic Tournament championship run Dec. 6 when the heat of action on the ice boiled over into the wings.
Donny Danroth returns to the ice on Friday night after being attacked off-ice by Bradford Rattler players.The police investigation of the incident is still ongoing. It took place at the 2012 GMHL College Showcase Classic Champions in Rama at the MASK arena.
Photo by Richard Coburn
A police and league investigation into an off-ice fight during the Rama-hosted tournament is currently ongoing and while a hearing into the matter was to be held on the morning of Monday, Dec. 10, results were not available by press time.
Shield head coach and general manager Dallyn Telford said he is unsure what, if any, potential punishment his team and the Bradford Rattlers may face, but was due to appear at the hearing with league officials Monday.
“I’ve been at a loss for words,” a stunned Telford said after the Dec. 6 incident. “Because there is an investigation right now, I can’t say much more but from what I know it was (players and possibly fans) from both sides (involved).”
The Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League’s (GMHL) fourth annual college classic was held in Rama Dec. 4 through 6. It’s a chance for college and major junior scouts to take in the talent of the GMHL and they got a good show of the Shield before their disqualification. The Shield went undefeated through the regular round-robin with two wins and a tie to the GMHL tournament all-star team. Their record vaulted them into the semifinal rounds against the Bradford Rattlers who went into the tournament undefeated in the regular season games.
The Shield were up 2-1 and about to start a five-on-three power play with less than a minute left in the second period when fisticuffs broke out behind the benches and disqualifications were meted out to both clubs.
“It’s a real shame too; we were in the driver’s seat at that point with the power play about to start,” Telford said adding as his attention was to the ice, he didn’t see much of how the eruption began. “We were playing really well then I just don’t know what happened.”
A fight involving at least one Shield player, members of the Rattlers and possibly fans broke out behind the benches, leading to the disqualification of both teams and now a subsequent police investigation.
Although they did not match up on the round-robin, the Bracebridge Phantoms bested the Shield by claiming the tournament title in their first year of existence, beating out the Toronto Attack for the banner and bragging rights.