Minor hockey coach investigated for tripping player
Mounties are investigating a Vancouver minor hockey coach after he tripped a 13-year-old player from an opposing team during a post-game handshake at the University of British Columbia campus last weekend.
Video obtained by CTV News shows UBC Hornets coach Martin Tremblay tripping a Richmond Steel player following the tense gold medal game ending the spring season, causing two boys to tumble to the ice at Thunderbird Arena.
One of the players suffered a broken wrist and will be in a cast for two weeks, according to Steel manager Tammy Hohlweg.
“He was just trying to shake hands. The game was over. No matter what happens in a game, our rule is you shake hands, you do what you’re supposed to do at the end,” Hohlweg said.
“He went in and he was very upset in the dressing room, very, very emotional.”
The coach – whose team actually beat the Steel 5-4 – was also filmed pointing his middle finger at the crowd after the trip, and one of his players is seen throwing a water bottle at the glass.
Mounties and paramedics were called to the arena, where officers took Tremblay into custody. The coach was questioned and released without charges.
But RCMP Sgt. Paulena Gidda said investigators are still considering charges of assault or assault causing bodily harm, depending on the severity of the player’s injuries.
“Right now, as far as we are aware they are minor injuries,” said Gidda, who could not confirm that a player’s wrist was broken.
Video of the incident will be a key piece of evidence, she added.
CTV News was unable to reach Tremblay Tuesday. Witnesses say the coach claimed he had slipped on the ice, but Hohlweg says his story doesn’t hold water.
“Actually seeing it is horrifying,” she said after reviewing video of the fall. “He should not be allowed around kids. No more coaching for this coach.”
“If a coach is like that, the kids will feed off that – the kids will react and do that too.”
Tremblay formerly coached for the Vancouver Thunderbird Minor Hockey Association, which does not govern the spring season, but president Bill Veenstra said if the allegations prove true it’s unlikely he will be back.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Shannon Paterson