Hockey title in question
By Blaine Meller
The Mount Royal Cougars men’s hockey team celebrated an ACAC title victory this past weekend, defeating SAIT 1-0 in the fifth and deciding game of the series between the two rivals.
But that title could be in serious jeopardy.
Several Calgary media outlets, including Sportsnet Radio The FAN960, are reporting that Mount Royal’s game five win is being quashed due to the Cougars allegedly dressing an ineligible back-up goaltender for the contest. That information has since been confirmed by Mount Royal Athletics and the ACAC.
Mount Royal has appealed the decision.
“We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of our men’s hockey team and stand behind their efforts. We are submitting an appeal to the (ACAC) office today and are working with the ACAC on this issue. While the appeals process is underway, we are unable to discuss the details,” Chris Dawe, Mount Royal’s acting athletic director, said in a March 30 press release.
An ACAC press release stated that Mount Royal “self-disclosed” the infraction. The conference commissioner ruled the game would be replayed Saturday, April 2, but that decision has been suspended pending Mount Royal’s appeal.
ACAC president Alan Rogan confirmed an appeal has been filed and said a final and binding decision on the issue will be made before end-of-day March 31. The appeal will be judged by a tribunal comprised of three athletic directors from ACAC members not associated with either Mount Royal or SAIT, Rogan said.
The tribunal has a number of ways it could rule: It could uphold the decision that an ineligible player was not dressed and the final result of the game and series stand, or it could uphold the commissioner’s ruling that the player in question was ineligible and assess sanctions. Those sanctions could include the re-playing of game five of the series or in an extreme instance, strip Mount Royal of the title outright, Rogan said.
“It all depends on what information Mount Royal brings to the table and how the tribunal deciphers that information,” Rogan said, adding the appeal will be heard via conference call in the interest of time.
The timing of this incident could perhaps not be worse for Mount Royal as it prepares to learn the fate of its CIS application. That decision will be released this May.