The BC Spartans Spring Hockey team recently started a conversation around youth hockey by announcing they would no longer be playing against a fellow team due to “aggressive behaviour.”
That team, the New Western Bruins, is now speaking out about the announcement.
Team Director Bob Stecher called into The Simi Sara Show to clear up what he says is a case of “isolated incidents.”
First and foremost, Stecher says he was disappointed to see the announcement.
He says the Bruins and the Spartans have had four years of play with no previous incidents, aside from two particular cases.
One of those cases was the exhibition game Spartan’s Director of Hockey James Wall pointed to, in which coaches and players alike were ejected.
Stecher claims that coaches from the Spartans’ side were yelling at referees to hand out those penalties.
Those referees, young teens themselves, were then pressured into doing just that, according to Stecher.
He says it didn’t take long for his team’s frustration to set in.
“Our boys, being 11 years old, got frustrated and did take more penalties. That is the truth, we cannot deny that, we will accept our responsibility for that.”
Things allegedly escalated from there, resulting in the ejection of the Bruins’ coaches.
It’s an incident that Stecher is willing to take criticism for, saying he should have shown more restraint.
“I take responsibility for that. I should have been a better example for our boys.”
However, that wasn’t the only case.
Parents from other teams emailed Simi herself with stories of inappropriate conduct, many of them mentioning a particular “Osoyoos incident.”
As to the extent of that event, Stecher stayed mum.
“One of our moms was punched in the face twice by a 270 pound MMA fighter, and our dads ran to her rescue,” Stecher says. “That was the Osoyoos incident.”
Despite some bumps in the road, Stecher says the Bruins have dealt with issues internally.
“We need to just worry about ourselves, and worry about our teams, and not getting in altercations with other coaches… and we did absolutely address that.”
He says he hopes both teams can put past events behind them and begin playing together again soon.
“The BC Spartans and the New Western Bruins actually have the same philosophy. It’s about the experience of the families, and the players, and the coaches.”
Written by Tristan Martin-Woodhouse