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Victoria minor hockey player hospitalized, others suspended after in-game pileup

A minor hockey player has been hospitalized and three others have been suspended indefinitely for piling onto the player during a game in Courtenay, B.C., on Monday.

“It was… literally the dying moments of the game. There was 1.3 seconds left on the clock,” said Nicki Reich, Victoria Minor Hockey Association president.

Video posted on YouTube shows that after the faceoff, several members of the U-15 Juan de Fuca Grizzlies piled onto a boy playing for the Victoria Admirals.

“While I don’t feel these kids behaved in any way that any of us can excuse, I don’t feel that at the heart of it that these kids ever intended to cause this level of injury,” Reich said.

The 14-year-old Admirals player has internal injuries, she said. He is expected to recover.

The Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association (VIAHA) has begun a disciplinary process, which will determine how long the Grizzlies players are suspended.

“It’s things like that that we want to take out of the game,” VIAHA president Al McCulloch said.

“Kids are there to play a recreational activity and we want it to be in a safe space.”

A disciplinary decision will be made by early next week, he said.

“I really hope it comes with some kind of education,” Reich said.

“They need to be able to check their emotions and if they are feeling overwhelmed… remove yourself from play.”

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