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Island U-15 hockey player in hospital following incident in game

Three players have been suspended pending review of the incident
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A minor hockey player with the Victoria Admirals is in Victoria General Hospital and three Juan de Fuca players have been suspended indefinitely after an on-ice incident on Monday.

The Victoria Admirals under-15 Tier 1 boys’ rep team were playing against the Juan de Fuca Grizzlies Under-15 Tier 1 team at the Comox Valley Sports Centre in Courtenay when the incident occurred.

It happened after a face-off at centre ice with 1.3 seconds remaining in the bronze-medal game of a tournament, which was won 4-1 by the Admirals.

The Times Colonist was sent a video clip of what appears to be the Admirals centre, who has not been identified, under a pile-up of Juan de Fuca players immediately after the face-off.

The injured Admirals player is suffering from internal bleeding, according to a source.

“The pictorial evidence is there. The video speaks for itself,” said Harold Bloomenthal, Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey Association president.

“Our primary concern is the injured player.”

Al McCulloch, president of the Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association, said “the incident is being reviewed” by the discipline committee, vice-president of competition and the referee-in-chief of the VIAHA as well as by B.C. Hockey.

“We will let the discipline process play out,” said McCulloch.

Cameron Hope of Victoria, CEO of B.C. Hockey, could not be reached for comment.

“It’s incredibly unfortunate and has no place in hockey,” said Nicki Reich, president of the Victoria Admirals Minor Hockey Association.

“We’ve given it to the district [VIAHA] and B.C. Hockey to review.”

The process includes the three suspended players having one week to provide written accounts of what they were thinking at the time.

“It’s time to take a pause and wait for the disciplinary process to play out to decide what is appropriate,” said Bloomenthal.

“We [Juan de Fuca] will enforce the decisions of the governing bodies. This is one of the not good sides of our sport and there are no excuses. They are still kids but a learning moment is coming.”

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com