USPHL player becomes unhinged, knocks out referee after being thrown out of a game
BY BRETT THOMAS WILLS JULY 30, 2023 (8:57)
The camera shows a player trying to either chip the puck out or carry it out of his zone, but the ref, who was keeping his eye on the play, inadvertently gets in the way. As the skater tries to finish the play, he makes contact with the official and the play is called dead. Immediately, the referee calls a penalty and while it is not completely clear; it seems like the player gets tossed. The player becomes unhinged and charges after the referee as he's escorted off the ice by two other officials. He skates by the first official and cross-checks him chest or shoulder high.
Spectators, fans and players know that the game is physical and tempers can flare at any moment, and we have accepted it. But this display of disregard for another human goes above and beyond what is acceptable on the ice and the player should receive a lengthy suspension, if not expulsion, from the league, especially at this level.
The game has given players, coaches and officials a place to escape the reality of the daily grind and everyone should feel safe coming to the rink. A scene like this doesn't happen often, but it happens often enough that something should be done to quell the fallout from anything escalating further.