Coach pleads guilty to tripping teen hockey players
Published Tuesday, November 20, 2012 6:04PM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 20, 2012 8:12PM PST
The Vancouver minor hockey coach who was caught on tape deliberately tripping two teenage players on the ice has pleaded guilty to assault, CTV News has learned.
UBC Hornet coach Martin Tremblay knocked the boys down at Thunderbird Arena in June following the tense gold medal match of the spring season.
One of the victims was unharmed while the other, a 13-year-old, broke his wrist.
Tremblay did not deliver his plea in person, but the 40-year-old’s lawyer Bob Bellows said the incident has had a profound impact on his life and he “regrets sincerely what occurred.”
“He feels horrible about it. It’s affected the two boys, it’s affected his son who plays hockey, it’s affected his livelihood,” Bellows said. “He feels a lot of shame and remorse.”
In Richmond court Tuesday, Bellows delivered a letter of apology Tremblay wrote that will be passed along to the two victims, both of whom played for the opposing Richmond Steel team.
“It’s a complete apology. He accepts total responsibility for what occurred and he wishes them well on the ice and off the ice and asks for their forgiveness,” Bellows said.
But Steel manager Tammy Hohlweg said the written apology is too little, too late, and that the boys’ parents have been frustrated by Tremblay’s silence up to this point.
“Maybe if he [apologized] within a week or a couple days of it happening it would have been fine but now it’s a little too late I think,” Hohlweg said.
Bellows said the judge will likely consider Tremblay’s position as coach and the age of the victims as aggravating factors, but said there are a number of mitigating factors as well.
“He was stressed out, he was exhausted actually physically and emotionally at that point, so there were a lot of factors that went into what happened,” he said.
Bellows’ statement is the first time any form of explanation has been given for the assault, which occurred after Tremblay’s team won the match. The coach has yet to speak publicly about the incident.
Tremblay is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 31, 2013. His lawyer does not expect he will receive jail time.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Shannon Paterson