The University of Alberta Golden Bears will play for the University Cup championship on Sunday, and they’re unlikely to have much crowd support when they take on the University of New Brunswick in Charlottetown.
The Golden Bears refused to shake hands with the host Prince Edward Island Panthers after their 4-1 semi-final win Saturday night.
“That was the worst I’ve seen. That wasn’t hockey,” said Golden Bears head coach Ian Herbers of what he considered dirty play by the Panthers. “Not safe. Every time our guys went on the ice, I didn’t feel safe for our players.”
UPEI took 42 minutes in penalties in the game while the Bears took eight.
Early in the third, Zac Beauregard of the Panthers crashed into Alberta goalie Ethan Kruger, whose mask came off in the ensuing scrum. Beauregard then felled Kruger with a bare-fisted left to the face.
“Somebody sucker-punched him,” said Herbers of Kruger. “Now he’s under concussion protocol. We’ll see if he’s healthy for tomorrow. Blatant, blatant ugly stuff.”
Beauregard was assessed minors for goalie interference, roughing, and unsportsmanlike conduct on the play. He was also assessed a misconduct.
The Golden Bears left the ice without shaking hands with the Panthers after the game.
“Safety of our players. Didn’t want something happening in the scrum,” explained Herbers. “I figure best for our team, U Sports, and the tournament, better to just get this done with.”
The Golden Bears play UNB at 4 p.m. mountain time on Sunday.
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