Victoria-area Mounties have opened an investigation into the actions of Chilliwack Chiefs assistant coach Brandon Fleenor at the end of a Jan. 12 British Columbia Hockey League game.
Victoria Grizzlies defenceman Chris Albertini filed a complaint with West Shore RCMP in which he alleged Fleenor "flung a hockey stick at him, striking him in the side of his head."
Albertini, who was not playing during the game, was standing between the benches when tempers flared in the game’s last minute.
“I reported it to the police, but nothing has officially come of it. I have filed a complaint,” Albertini told the Victoria Times-Colonist. “There is no room for that in hockey, for a coach to lose his temper like that.”
West Shore RCMP spokeswoman Kathy Rochlitz confirmed Thursday that police are in the “initial stages of an investigation.”
Albertini, a 20-year-old native of Hampton, Ont., admitted to “chirping” at the Chilliwack bench late in the game. He said he was struck as Fleenor flung the stick at him in a “spear-fishing” motion.
The events, which took place with roughly 10 seconds remaining in the game, began a chain reaction of hostility between the players, who were violently pushing on the glass that separates the visitors’ bench from the hosts.
The incident was caught on tape by Grizzlies’ videographer Roy Anthonisen, who posted it online. The video has since been taken down.
During the final moments of the Jan. 12 game, Grizzlies general manager and head coach Bill Bestwick left the bench to attempt to gain control of his players. He was given a game misconduct at the time.
At the final whistle, a brawl erupted on the ice.
Fleenor has been suspended indefinitely by the British Columbia Hockey League. Six players from each team were also disciplined. Chiefs Matthieu Tibbet, Jaret Babych and David Thompson were handed one-game suspended for participating in an altercation at the end of the game. Chiefs forward Tanner Cochrane was suspended two games for provoking an incident from the players bench and for leaving the bench to participate in an altercation. Chiefs defenceman Shay Laurent was suspended four games for participating in two separate fights after the game had ended. And Chiefs forward Trevor Hills was handed a four-game ban for initiating and provoking a pair of altercations at the end of the game and for participating in a fight.
with files from Tyler Olsen, Chilliwack Times