VIDEO: Worth 12 games?

Jason Malloy
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Wilgosh hit on Owens results in hefty suspension

The Guardian has obtained a copy of the video that led to UPEI Panthers Mason Wilgosh’s 12-game suspension.

Atlantic University Sport (AUS) executive director Phil Currie called it a hit to the head while Wilgosh and UPEI Panthers officials disagreed.

An AUS judiciary committee upheld the suspension Friday after hearing an appeal Tuesday in Sackville, N.B.

Wilgosh hit Christopher Owens behind the Acadia Axemen goal midway through the Nov. 30 contest. Owens was down on the ice for about 15 minutes before being taken to hospital. He was diagnosed with a concussion. He returned to the Acadia lineup in 2013.

The Guardian has uploaded the video, so are viewers can see the hit for themselves, given the two sides have very differing views on the play.

Click here for Friday's related story.

Click here for initial story with comments from Wilgosh.

 

Organizations: AUS, University Sport

Geographic location: Sackville

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  • Hockey Enthusiest
    January 14, 2013 - 15:21

    This is a clean check. If anything should be called, it would be a 2 minute charging penalty. 12 games is absolutely absurd, the game of hockey is a physical one. Those arguing that there is no place for this in hockey, are not knowledgeable of the rules and history of hockey, and jump to conclusions without any clue of the situation. The game of hockey is dangerous, one of the most basic and important rules, that you learn at a very young age, is to keep your head up. Now it is unfortunate that the player who was hit suffered a injury, but it is even more unfortunate that a player who made a hit within the rules, is being punished for the rest of his hockey season. AUS has made a mockery of the league by this ruling, and Phil Currie will have a lot more explaining to do once this video goes viral. If you want hits like this to not exist in the sport of hockey, then change the rulebook. Until then, this is a clean check, and this ruling is absolutely garbage.

  • Hockey Enthusiest
    January 14, 2013 - 15:17

    This is a clean check. If anything should be called, it would be a 2 minute charging penalty. 12 games is absolutely absurd, the game of hockey is a physical one. Those arguing that there is no place for this in hockey, are not knowledgeable of the rules and history of hockey, and jump to conclusions without any clue of the situation. The game of hockey is dangerous, one of the most basic and important rules, that you learn at a very young age, is to keep your head up. Now it is unfortunate that the player who was hit suffered a injury, but it is even more unfortunate that a player who made a hit within the rules, is being punished for the rest of his hockey season. AUS has made a mockery of the league by this ruling, and Phil Currie will have a lot more explaining to do once this video goes viral. If you want hits like this to not exist in the sport of hockey, then change the rulebook. Until then, this is a clean check, and this ruling is absolutely garbage.

  • kevin taylor
    January 13, 2013 - 11:43

    just watched the video yes it was a hard hit but this is hockey but the world today is on a different path with sports in general they do not want any hitting or any sort of danger. as far as players after game swinging sticks i used to attendgames year ago and wheneer you went to acadia or smu or othes the things that were thrown at plyers by fans were not pretty,in fact one team from the maihland year ago if i remember was unb came to island for 2 game weekend and ended up lookingfor upei players at a local bar saying all kinds of crap only to start a fight with locals and get their asses handed to them . so i know what goes on in opposing rinks with fans and i guarantee you the players needed to swing sticks to get out of a hostile area .the hit probably needed a suspension the way the rules are today but 12 games seems excesive

  • Wizard
    January 13, 2013 - 10:49

    In responce to Finally yes you are correct the league gave and additional 8 games. my Bad but i still think the referres are very inconsistent with there calls. Dont know how one would change that but hard for a player to decide when they will be called or not.

  • Cricket, cricket, cricket . . .
    January 13, 2013 - 10:33

    How can a member even get a touchdown if there's not this combat around the goal posts? I know this sport of Ice Hockey quite well now and putting the puck up the court and in the fishing net is not that very easy. The video shows clearly that in order to pin his competitor for a knock out Mr. Willgosh had to hit him very very bloody hard, but is this not the very point of this ice game?

  • Me
    January 12, 2013 - 22:03

    For what it's worth - Owens has been hit before in a somewhat similar situation as this one. A few years ago when he played for Miramichi in the MHL, Will Johnson hit him. He seemed to play dead and came back a few games later. Johnson was hung out to dry by the league. Very similar situation here again. Not saying he wasn't legitimately hurt either time but he did recover quickly. This hit seemed to affect him more etc etc, but maybe he is more sensitive to absorbing checks cuz he got rocked pretty good more than once in his career. The video is quite grainy and hard to get a good view of the shot. If they based it mostly on the video I would say 12 games is not warranted. A suspension, yes...just maybe not 12 games. There's so much to factor into a decision like this that the average fan wouldn't consider. I guess we'll never know what made the committee decide on 12 games but the it's done now. Owens is once again back on the ice while the perpetrator is still in the stands. Moral of the story - everyone has to be aware on the ice.

  • Finally
    January 12, 2013 - 18:13

    Finally, we see the video, although dark and not real clear. Acadia coach, Burns says this game was an embarrassment to the AUS. I felt in articles I've read that Burns felt the game was going to be out of control from the start . Why wouldn't they have two referees and just one. Wizard! It was not the referree that called for 12 games, but Phil Currie whom tacked on an additional 8 games on top of the four. Currie is going to take the hit on this one as are the judical committee for their utter stupidity on assessing this hit. The eight game added on by you, Phil Currie, is a complete joke and shows that you are a bigger ass than I thought. Now send it to you tube, and people that have any clue about hockey will see that Mason Wilgosh is a good hockey player whom gives 120% every shift. His penalty minutes over his junior years are not indicative of a player that I would call a goon. Stick with it Mason! You are being targeted and sorry, but a scapegoat for this league. You'll be back but it really does SUCK!

  • north shore watcher
    January 12, 2013 - 17:13

    Crazy. He had the puck ......... He had his head down ...... He hit his head on the ice in case you missed it .......... If you dont like that stuff dont go to the games or dont watch on TV. Period.

  • Ricky
    January 12, 2013 - 17:08

    Definitely not worthy of a 12 game suspension, the player put himself in a vulnerable position behind the net (head down)and got dropped by the panther player. Had he of had his head up, he could have braced himself or avoided the hit all together. I get leagues are trying to reduce head injuries, but jumping the gun and handing out a 12 game suspension in this instance is unfair. Had the hit of been from behind or a flying elbow to the face, yea, it should be given a large suspension, but in this scenario that is not the case.

  • Up west
    January 12, 2013 - 16:41

    Confused to why this is worth 12 games.. Keep your head up next time

  • Bluenoser
    January 12, 2013 - 16:31

    Before anyone reads this, let me state that this is the perspective of an Acadia fan. This video does not show the hit very well. I was there for the game and witnessed the hit first hand. Yes, Owens might have had his head down, but you can clearly see Wilgosh targets Owens from his blindside and gets his elbows up and hits him in the head in the process. It was a very dirty hit which could have seriously injured Owens. This type of hit has no place in the AUS, or in any hockey league for that matter. The hit was most certainly worth the 12 game suspension, if not more in my opinion. The hit illustrated how classless some of the UPEI players are. After Wilgosh was ejected from the game, he went and sat in the stands with the UPEI players who weren't dressed for the game and they were all congratulating him on the hit as Owens lay unconscious on the ice being attended to by Acadia trainers and four paramedics. And furthermore, at the end of the game, multiple UPEI players took their sticks and tried to hit Acadia fans with them on their way into the locker room. One UPEI player even tried to grab a hold of a kid who was chirping him from the stands. Acadia and UPEI certainly have a fierce rivalry which is great, but this entire game went too far.

    • Are you serious?
      January 12, 2013 - 17:56

      There is clearly no elbow in that hit, and it also doesn't even look like a hit to the head. . Are you saying he left the ice and sat in the stands with his equipment on? How else could what you described happen? And correct me if I'm wrong Bluenoser but didn't an Acadia player break the jaw of a Panther earlier in the year with a big hit too? Was that a dirty hit or just unfortunate? I won't get into your classless comments, I think everyone reading understands your motive.

  • hockey shmockey
    January 12, 2013 - 15:49

    hit him! hit him! he's not looking !!!you can kill him and only get two games !! serves him right !!! hit him harder !!!the fans want it !! ~~~~~~~~~~~~now that's hockey !!!! and its why many people are ashamed of the game !!!

    • Jim Prime
      January 13, 2013 - 09:51

      Amen!! People see what they want to see and UPEI is a serial offender. The suspension was fair.

  • Bill Stephenson
    January 12, 2013 - 15:21

    Owens had his head down and missed 1 game according to the website. Doesn't seem fair. This committee maybe needs to have a few hockey people on it. Perhaps the Q or the Maritime league can volunteer people who know a hard hit from a dirty one. Hockey is not lawn bowling.

  • Why....why
    January 12, 2013 - 14:30

    What is wrong with this hit...Remember Wendel Clarks hit on the St Louis Blue defenceman Bruce Bells .Its almost the same and he never even got a penalty ....Looks like a clean hit to me if number 10 was watching his whereabouts then it wouldnt have happened

  • CHRIS OWNES
    January 12, 2013 - 14:26

    That hit hurt me a lot! Im pretty much a vegetable now!

  • bob
    January 12, 2013 - 14:15

    hard to see someone sneaking around the net like that .cheap shots like that should get them a year or more suspension. any head shot and your gone for the year. nothing but a cheap shot ,likely trying put someone out for a few games.not hard to see he has no class or skill. if he did he won't take cheap shots like that.

  • Mel
    January 12, 2013 - 13:46

    First rule of hockey - KEEP YOUR HEAD UP! Suspension for sure but 12 games seems a little much.

  • Issac Berzins
    January 12, 2013 - 13:10

    All hockey players are idiots, the dude should be hung up and quartered

    • Grant M.
      January 12, 2013 - 16:33

      Issac Berzins - anyone who stereotypes an entire group of people for the actions of one, is, how did you put it... an idiot. I think we know who the real one is in this case. The hit looked hard, and unfortunate that he got hurt, but not dirty. Hard to say too much from this angle and grainy video. It's a legal play in a contact sport. If he intenationally tagetted - and struck - the head, maybe it's a different story, but you can't determine that form here. So you have to give the benefit of the doubt, or perhaps you judeg people as guilty until proven innocent? Why did you click on this story, and (apparently, but I have to wonder if you really did) - watch the video, if you are so ignorant and judemental about hockey. You're hereby been trolled out for what you are.

  • island
    January 12, 2013 - 12:52

    Seems like a lot of games for a hit like this. Maybe a 5 minute major but not 12 games.

  • d-cheery
    January 12, 2013 - 12:36

    the guy is a goon. Look at the way the puck and the play was headed. Brutal. If it was a UPEI player smoked yas would be on the suspension for the year deal.

  • Stratford boy
    January 12, 2013 - 12:28

    Suspension justified. No room in any sport for hits like this.

  • Joe Blow
    January 12, 2013 - 12:28

    Every player that gets hit while their head is down or they aren't looking is partially to blame. First rule of playing hitting hockey is keep your head up, look around and be aware of where you are on the ice and who is near you. If you are going to skate around and look at the puck all the time....you are going to get hit and most likely hurt. You have to be aware of what is going on around you.

  • paul
    January 12, 2013 - 12:12

    wow, that was the hit , does the person who gave the 12 games actually watch hockey .

  • don
    January 12, 2013 - 12:10

    WORTH THE SEASON OF 2012/2013 AND 2014. we need to let these punks know head shots can KILL. what if he killed the guy or the hit put the guy out of hockey period what would he get 14 games?

  • Liam
    January 12, 2013 - 11:41

    He lifts his hands but does not leave his feet. The victim is responsible for a lack of awareness. The challenge is that due to shorter seasons AUS games are worth more than leagues that have longer seasons, so twelve games is excessive - equivalent to 25+ games in an 82 game season, a suspension handed out for only the most serious offenses. This warrants five games maximum. The AUS dropped the ball on this call.

  • conso
    January 12, 2013 - 11:35

    WORTH 20!!!

    • Is That You
      January 12, 2013 - 11:48

      Phil Currie trying to justify your suspension? Just a good hard hit.If Acadia's player had his head up, he avoids the hit. This is high level hockey and if you aren't aware this will happen.

    • george
      January 12, 2013 - 16:04

      Get A Life Idiot!

  • Jeff
    January 12, 2013 - 11:29

    Gotta keep your head up..clean hardddd hit

  • Ed Gallant
    January 12, 2013 - 11:17

    It doesn't appear to be a dirty it to me. His hands and his stick were both down. I'm not sure from this video what actually hit his head. It looked like his shoulder made contact after the other fellow looked down at the puck. Head contact was made, should the penalty be 12 games? I doubt it.

  • dave
    January 12, 2013 - 11:10

    Not dirty at all. Check out the Jack Nevin's hit in the Rocket Highlights from Friday January,11 2013. Nevins was only give a fighting Major! http://www.peirocket.com/video/index/id/ccc87987ec1932808bf83c6645a0eded

  • Wizard
    January 12, 2013 - 11:07

    Well the video was a little blurry but from what I saw that wasn't worth 12 games. I've seen a lot worse with a lot less punishment. That's the problem with refs at all level. Inconsistent to say the least. It's contact hockey. Have your wits about you or get a tutu and take up ballet.

  • Wade Mason
    January 12, 2013 - 10:59

    what a joke