Brawl on ice comes under police scrutiny

Ice hockey
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The Independent Online
Ice hockey


Police investigations into the brawl between Durham Wasps and Sheffield Steelers have put the British Ice Hockey Association's response on ice.

Durham Wasps' 6-6 draw against Sheffield Steelers was overshadowed by an incident half-way through the game when Wasps' Ross Lambert received an eye injury after a clash with Steelers' Nicky Chinn. Lambert needed nearly 20 stitches and Chinn was thrown out of the game. He was then questioned by local police and released on bail with any decision on charges to be taken in the New Year. Wasps are also holding their own inquiry into the brawl.

Chinn, dismissed for excessive rough play, is automatically banned for three matches and the British Ice Hockey Association will decide on any further disciplinary action after the police have made their decision.

Given that Wasps' Rick Brebant was recently banned for 12 matches after a clash left his opponent needing extensive mouth-stitching, it is unlikely the punishment will be less. It could be considerably more given that the loss of an eye through a stick wielded in anger could have ended Lambert's career.