Suspensions issued for Shield’s part in off-ice altercation
GRAVENHURST - Head coach and general manager Dallyn Telford and South Muskoka Shield forward Donny Danroth were each levied suspensions for their roles in an off-ice altercation against the Bradford Rattlers Dec. 6, during the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League’s (GMHL) College Showcase Classic Tournament in Rama.
South Muskoka Shield player Donny Danroth sports a black eye during last weekend’s play. Danroth has been suspended for three games after an off-ice
altercation with members of the Bradford Rattlers on Dec. 6.
Photo by Richard Coburn
Telford served his two-game penalty over the weekend of Dec. 8, but the team will be without third-year player Danroth for one more game, Dec. 21, at home against Bobcaygeon, as he finishes off a three-game suspension.
The league also suspended Rattlers Nicolas Thommen for eight games, plus probation for the remainder of season, and suspended Myles Neuneker five games.
The rulings came Dec. 11 after a league hearing and police investigation into the incident.
“I’m satisfied with the rulings,” Telford said. “They (league representatives) reviewed the situation to try and get the story right, because there were a lot of them going around, and I think things came out fair.
“It’s truly unfortunate it happened, but it’s an isolated incident,” he added.
A panel of five GMLH team owners who were not in attendance at the three-day tournament made the ruling after hearing from representatives of both teams and the players involved.
The incident was an off-ice fight in a hallway, near the South Muskoka dressing rooms during the semifinal game of the tournament against the Rattlers. Danroth explained that late in the second period a Rattler player was penalized for hitting him in the head and the Shield scored on the ensuing power play. With tempers rising on ice, a fight broke out and Danroth was sent off ice as he was the third man in. Walking back to his dressing room as the game continued, two Rattler players also penalized and removed from the game during the same on-ice altercation began a verbal argument with the lone Shield member.
“Words were exchanged; a verbal argument just at first, but then two other players coming back (to the dressing rooms) joined in,” Danroth said, adding a fan from the Rattlers side may have also gotten involved. “Then we got into it.”
In the melee Danroth suffered a couple of black eyes, but said he’s otherwise fine. He added he’s not pleased with his suspension, believing he was the victim of the off-ice attack and only defending himself.
“I’m not thrilled with it at all,” he said, but added he is permitted to practice and attend team functions during his suspension. “I’ll be able to keep fresh.”
Telford’s suspension stems from events that led to the end of the off-ice altercation. He explained both benches cleared to break up the fight with about one minute left to go in the second period, and the Shield up 2-1. There are automatic league suspensions to coaches or players that leave the bench and both Telford and the Rattlers head coach Johan Lundskog got suspensions for leaving and allowing the players to leave the bench. Lundskog was suspended four games and suspended two of his players indefinitely for their role. Both teams were also immediately disqualified from the tournament.
“But you know, both teams’ benches cleared; that was 40 hockey players going in to break up a fight and not one fight broke out with all of that confusion going on,” Telford said. “As much as this was an unfortunate situation, I do think the fact 40 players from two teams were involved like that and nothing else happened; it speaks to the mutual respect the players and the coaches have for each other.”