MHL reviewing alleged incident between the teams during Thursday's contest
NEW GLASGOW - The Pictou County Weeks Crushers won't be coming to Truro Saturday to play the Bearcats in a Maritime Junior Hockey League pre-season game.
The Crushers made the announcement on Friday in the wake of events during a pre-season game between the teams on Thursday in New Glasgow.
During that contest, which the Bearcats won 3-1, it was alleged Truro captain Phillip Fife mocked Pictou County's Garrett Holmes, who suffers from Tourette syndrome.
The final stages of the game featured multiple skirmishes and fights.
"We ended up cancelling the game and will not be going to it after spending the day today having conversations and looking at it," Wade Taylor, Weeks Hockey Organization president, said Friday. "We have a lot of emotionally charged athletes and we feel that it's not in the best interest of - for safety reasons for the game or the integrity of the league - to go and play a game that could result in way too (many) skirmishes or offside behaviours. We're looking to protect that."
Tonight's game was scheduled to take place at the Colchester Legion Stadium.
The Maritime Junior Hockey League is looking into the alleged incident and will review video footage of the game before making a decision on discipline.
"To my knowledge there's an alleged incident that took place, which we will look at and follow the proper steps to address it," said MHL president Darryl Smith. "I don't have all the information right now, so we're awaiting that and will make a decision once we have everything."
Bearcats coach Shawn Evans declined to comment.
Tyler Morrison was released from the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League on Friday and is expected to re-join the Bearcats.
Evans said he hopes to have the 19-year-old right-winger in the lineup when the Bearcats open the new season next Friday in Campbellton.
Morrison, a Mississauga, Ont., native, joined the Bearcats last season. He scored seven goals and added 19 assists in 46 games.
"He played really well late in the season and in the playoffs," said Evans. "I think he's a good, smart hockey player with size, and we'll let him get over his disappointment (of being released by Belleville), and Bearcat land will be excited to have him."
The Bearcats are in the market for a defenceman after rookie blueliner Alex Anthony blew out his knee during a pre-season game last week against the Amherst Ramblers.
Anthony will have surgery soon and is expected to be out of the lineup until at least Christmas.
– With files from The News