AUS hockey sport chair David MacLean handed out additional suspensions following a secondary review of an on-ice incident involving the StFX and Acadia Men’s hockey teams on February 2.
Last week, the AUS suspended 15 players and two coaches for their roles in the blow up. Six student-athletes from the Acadia Axemen, nine from the StFX X-Men, and both team’s head coaches received automatic suspensions totalling 39 games as a result of the altercations.
AUS men’s hockey sport chair David MacLean issued his decision on the secondary review yesterday.
StFX head coach Brad Peddle received a suspension of eight additional games, while X players Mark Tremaine and Aaron Hoyles each received 2 additional game suspensions each.
On the Acadia side of things, players TJ Fergus was suspended for three additional games and Loch Morrison was suspended for an additional five. Head coach Darren Burns received an additional eight game suspension. Rodney Southam, the Acadia student-athlete who admitted to making an inflammatory comment to X student athlete Sam Studnicka prior to the incident, received an additional five games.
The release from the AUS states the suspensions are effective immediately and will carry over into the 2019-20 regular season, if necessary.
“The AUS supports the decisions made by the men’s hockey sport chair,” said executive director Phil Currie. “His review was thorough and included consultation with affected players, officials, former and current university coaches, athletic directors and sport administrators.”
Currie stated the AUS is satisfied with the outcome and commended MacLean’s work.
Acadia University issued a statement following the ruling, stating the school will adhere to the AUS process and will review the sanctions.
“This has been a very difficult time for everyone concerned, made considerably worse by the inaccurate statement issued on February 4th that resulted in unfair public commentary in mainstream and social media,” stated the release, adding an inexcusable word was used during the game.
“Our student-athlete and all of those associated from Acadia Athletics, regret and continue to be very apologetic for what was said and how it affected another student-athlete and his family,” said Kevin Dickie, executive director of athletics at Acadia.
Leo MacPherson, director of athletics and recreation at StFX, also issued a release following the ruling. Macpherson stated Peddle and Studnicka provided clear statements as to what has occurred dating back to the 2016-17 season, including the fact the issue was brought to the attention of the Acadia Athletics program in the past. MacPherson also said the event of February 2 were completely avoidable.
The release also states StFX will file an appeal in respect to Coach Peddle’s total game suspension, noting the severity of the sanction fails to consider the historical context and the larger issue which led to the event.