This is a follow up story to the original - Read it by Clicking here
Hockey has a way of creating hostile competitive environments. Although we do not see fans fighting in the stands like the European soccer matches we do have hostile angry parents and coaches. Indeed it is fights during NHL games which attract the most vocal supportive outbursts from the fans.
Northwest BC is no different. Kitimat, Terrace, Smithers and Prince Rupert each have histories of conflicts within Minor and Senior Hockey leagues. This is why there are clear rules and obligations designed and written in the organizational structure of these leagues.
In 2006, when we arrived in the region, we travelled through Smithers and wrote on the exciting Hockeyville contest. Read our 2006 writing here
We did the same during their second attempt and when it was suggested Terrace make an attempt we published the desire and promoted it extensively, so much so, Terrace was successful. In our coverage of this and the subsequent attempt by Hazelton we discovered numerous individuals from the Smithers region who held serious grudges towards Terrace for their success.
This can be understood when one realizes Smithers actually won but CBC did not know it until the celebrations were over. And some Smithers residents and hockey aficionados are still angry. - from a reader;“Smithers actually won that first year but CBC didn't know until 3 days after they made their announcement. A group of computer teckies hooked the online voting to the white pages online in Halifax in the last 24 hours of the voting period. Even with that they just managed to beat [Smithers]. It took them 3 days to figure out all the votes were coming in from one location and server! This never went public.”
The Terrace reader also stated; “they were really pissed when we won Hockeyville, even to this day I still hear about it.”
Therefore; it is of serious interest to us, as the media outlet who initiated the Terrace effort, as well as promoting and encouraging the Smithers efforts, how the stunning strength of the young Terrace men, the offspring of the training by the Canucks and so many more who came to Terrace to encourage our youth, that the adults in Smithers are perceivably acting in a vindictive manner.
Although we have no evidence this is the issue behind this attack on the young hockey players of the northwest, it is the only issue that makes any sence.
We have repeatedly emailed those involved for comment and have only received one response. The letter is attached below.
Also attached is the response to this letter by the Terrace Head Coach.
We begin with our questions to the author of the letter we received, the official from Smithers, who is apparently in charge of making some of the decisions which resulted in this controversy. We advised all parties we would be publishing this and asked for their response. Our email inbox and phone remained silent.Email sent to;
Chantal Tom chantaltom27,,,gmail.com,
and cc’d to; tsoucie,,,telus.net, ktminaker,,,telus.net, turkodave,,,gmail.com prmha,,,citytel.net
Thank you Chantal,
I have been forwarded a response from a Terrace representative who included a reference to the rules and challenges some of the statements made in your letter.
I wonder if you have the time to respond to a couple further questions.
First - If the rules state a decision made on an appeal during a playoff cannot be appealed to a higher level (sec 14.1) why was this allowed to proceed?
Second - Is it true the request by Terrace to play the championship game the following weekend was made to you by phone?
Third - Given the fact Terrace and Kitimat agreed to the on ice decision and indeed played a second game, obviously accepting of the on-ice ruling, why was Smithers allowed to appeal it?
And could you comment on the optics of these rulings and challenges.
The optics being this.
The Terrace team was obviously at a disadvantage due to being tired from playing extra games going into the final. Smithers accepted to play knowing Terrace would be tired. Erin arranged the ice also understanding this and these concerns of Terrace were also expressed to you. Once this (obviously exciting) match was finished, with the win for Terrace, the Smithers officials (obviously disappointed with the result) broke the rules (14.1) and initiated an appeal anyways. All of the details were well known to all the on ice and off ice decision makers, coaches and officials. The optics are clearly the Smithers team officials are displaying bad sportsmanship by manipulating the previous events, the decisions made and accepted on ice, as the desire to win by taking advantage of the tired Terrace team failed. All the young men participated by playing all the games and all struggling hard to win fairly and cleanly. It is not the young men here who are deciding events by their skill, it is the parents, acting as officials who are.
Please respond asap as we are going to print all these details shortly.Original and only response - the letter from Chantal Tom Monday, March 4, 2012. In regards to the Midget Tier 3 Zone Championship Playoffs
Just to clarify the events that took place over the weekend of February 22- 24, 2013.
During Terrace’s second of three round robin games, a player from Terrace had received a penalty, Head Contact Major – which consists of a 5 minute major and game misconduct. The player was ejected from the game at this time. As per the BC Hockey Suspension guidelines that were sent to all Associations across the Northwest on numerous occasions. The penalty would have the player sit the next game (or 7 days, whichever comes first). All coaches are well aware of this guideline as it has been in place all season and clarified a few times to the coaches and Presidents.
During Terrace’s third scheduled game (vs Kitimat), the coach decided that the player could play.
Once Kitimat seen the player on the ice, they immediately questioned the NW District Representative. The District Rep called myself and Bob Storey immediately, requesting guidance on the matter. Both Bob and I told her to go to the Terrace bench and inform the coach that the player should not be on the ice. Terrace, then removed the player during the first period and had him undress for the remainder of the game.
At the conclusion of the game, which had a score of 10 – 1 for Terrace, Kitimat launched an appeal against Terrace for use of an “Ineligible Player”. Immediately, following their appeal, Terrace responded with their own appeal stating that the NW District Representative did not inform them that the player was suspended and should not have played. They continued to state that the official, which was later confirmed not to be true, informed them that the player could play.
All documents were sent to Darryl Lerum, District Director, Bob Storey, NW District Vice-President and Chantal Tom, NW District President. After reviewing the documents overnight, it was decided that there would be a conference call scheduled for 8:30 am regarding the appeals and accusations made.
Chantal met with Dan Nickel (during the Bantam Tier 4 Zones in Vanderhoof) and reviewed the documents with him. After some deliberating, we discussed some solutions that would not punish the kids for the coaches ignorance of the suspension guidelines. Chantal recommended to everyone that Terrace replay the game against Kitimat in the morning during the regular scheduled Championship Game. We contacted the District Rep in Smithers immediately and informed her to talk to Kitimat and Terrace and let them know our decision. We also asked the Rep to see if they could get ice to play the Championship Game later that day or the following weekend if she could not confirm for Sunday, February 24th.
There is one thing that has since come to light as well, that did not occur, and that was informing Kitimat of their options prior to playing the original makeup game. The District did not properly inform them that they could take the points from their appeal, which would have put them in 2nd place and in the Zone championship game.
The reason I suggested this solution was for the following:
• The issue of the official supposedly saying the player could play, (later it was revealed the official denies any such statement). Perception that the Kitimat official said yes, when in fact, the player should have sat
• The accusations that the NW District Rep, was possibly in conflict (again dismissed )
• Potential timing of Terrace receiving the game sheet from the previous game
Following the Terrace vs Kitimat game, I received yet another appeal from Terri Soucie, Terrace President, appealing our decision to make Terrace play again on Sunday at 4:45 pm in the Championship Game. Terri’s appeal did not have the appeal fee attached, so was immediately denied. The Championship game was 4 hours after Terrace’s first game which we felt was ample time in between. Smithers played the game against Terrace and lost by 1 goal. Smithers then put forward an appeal to BC Hockey regarding our initial decision about having the game re-played without the coach and player from Terrace.
BC Hockey Appeal Chair accepted the appeal and scheduled an Appeal Committee meeting, via teleconference, with 3 members of BC Hockey, Chantal Tom & Bob Storey (NW District Reps), Dave Turko & Bobby Love (Smithers MHA). The meeting lasted 40 minutes with questions being asked regarding our decision and why we made it. Following our meeting, BC Hockey Appeal Committee met once again to rule on the appeal put forward by Smithers. BC Hockey then came back that they have upheld the Appeal and that Terrace would forfeit the game in which they played an ineligible player, which in turn, put them 3rd in the round robin play.
Kitimat was awarded the points for the game and therefore, were then informed that they would play in the Championship Game against Smithers this week to determine who represents the NW District at the Midget Tier 3 Championships in Port Alberni.
My feelings personally on this matter have changed drastically since the beginning.
We were trying to simply allow the issue to be settled on the ice, not off. Unfortunately, any decision the NW District does decide is subject to be appeal at a higher level, BC Hockey. When Terrace, Kitimat and Smithers did not argue our original decision of having the game replayed, we felt that we came to a mutual agreement between all Associations that benefited all the kids.
The District only tries to administer the rules and constitution that the members have established. For whatever reason the Terrace team officials played an illegal player, the BC Hockey Constitution clearly states “6.01 Any ineligible player or team official who signs the game sheet and/or participates in any BC Hockey sanctioned game will cause their team to forfeit the game regardless of the score of the game. The team official(s) responsible will be suspended indefinitely pending an investigation.”
To make accusations of malice regarding a fellow volunteer, and continuously make vicious comments regarding the North West District is very disappointing and unacceptable. I am very disappointed that the coaches do not take any responsibility in this situation, but feel it is better to make false statements about neighbouring Associations and the District.
Chantal Tom, President
North West District Minor Hockey AssociationResponse to Chantals Letter by the President of the Terrace Minor Hockey Association
Chantal really? You have time to write this letter but not respond to me? I have been emailing and emailing asking what is happening to Terrace Midget Rep team for 2 days now and not once have I received and official email from you as President of our District! I have not been informed if my team is disqualified or what the next steps we can take!
For you to say my appeal about the champion game was denied because I did not submit the funds? WOW! I never even sent in a letter. We were on the phone! You told me that the champion game would not be held until the following weekend and that you were going to attend.
In the meantime Erin was rounding up ice and organizing the champion game! I then informed you of this and you stated that you will get a hold of Erin and get back to me! My coach had agreed to play at the time Erin suggested and that is why it was decided not because of some money!
I am appalled by this letter and that you make the decision to tell everyone but me as President of Terrace Minor Hockey on what is going on with the appeal and what it means!
So is this your official letter to me that my boys are disqualified? You don’t even take ownership or stand by your original decision? You now just cast blame out and state that we lied?
Neither I nor my coaches are responsible for the social media! For you to say you’re disappointed in my coaches for not taking responsibility for their actions to play a suspended player is just plan lies! Not once have I ever said we were not at blame! And I believe that your decision to re-play the Terrace Kitimat game was based on the fact that you knew the District and Erin shared responsibilities. As it clearly states in the checklist you sent out to me and all other District Representatives at Zone play downs. (attached below)
I’m deeply saddened by the outcome of the BC Hockey decision and this letter! Also disappointed how this is being handled. What’s also disappointing is that we have had to drag 38 young men into this whole mess and the only thing they could control was the final game which had the best 2 team in the SVHL competing for the Provincial birth.
I am ashamed as a leader of our association how politics and adult involvement can tamper with 38 players’ emotions to this degree. Shame on you and the district!
President, TMHARules as provided to the teams playing in the Smithers tournament2013 Zone Playdown Checklist
Check all rosters to game sheet•
o All players and team officials must be “Approved” as of the HCR Carded Roster. Chantal will provide the Final Rosters for each team attending Zones and forward to appropriate NW District Representative.
o Check rosters against memo noting players & team officials that are under current Hockey Canada suspensions.
o If there are any MAJOR/GAME/GROSS/MATCH penalties please inform the Erin asap and she will let you know if any of the players previous suspensions prevent him from continuing in zones. Appeals as per 14.1 of the NWDMHA Consititution;•
o Any decision made from a protest during playoffs is final and cannot be appealed to the Appeals Committee
Collect all game sheets and ensure they are completed correctly prior to submitting them to the District Statistician by Monday night following zones (fax is• 1-888-501-6698) or email to nwdistrictstats,,,live.ca).
o Top two copies of game sheet are NWDMHA copies unless the ref needs the top copy for a ref report
Overtime is played.....
Calculate final standings and apply “Tie Breaking Formula” as per BC Hockey.
Present Zone Championship winner Banner. (And League Champion banner if applicable).
Ensure all officials have been paid prior there returning to their home association.•
o Assist with the Zone Expense Form
Inform Daryl Lerum and Chantal Tom the winners of zones•
And I was there.