Timberlane hockey team leaves game in second period, forfeits
Kurt Mithoefer has seen a lot during his career as both a hockey player and coach, but what happened in his game at West Side Arena on Wednesday shocked him.
With his Merrimack High School team beating Timberlane Regional of Plaistow 8-1 and about 2:30 left in the second period, the Owls and their entire coaching staff left the rink and didn't return.
"I was completely blown away when I saw that," Mithoefer said.
It all happened shortly after a scrum in front of the net during which some jousting took place and words were exchanged between players. That's when the Timberlane coach left the bench and his players followed suit by skating off the ice.
Mithoefer said some of the Owls tried to "bait" his kids while they were leaving the ice but his players didn't bite.
"Not during my playing days and the couple of years I've been coaching.," Mithoefer said when asked if he had ever seen anything like that. "I don't know exactly what (the Timberlane coach) was complaining about."
The Timberlane coach and athletic director could not be reached for comment.
Mithoefer said the coach was vocal for most of the game about the officiating and the fact one of his players was hurt. At one point in the second period the Timberlane coach leaned over the boards separating the team benches and told Mithoefer he wasn't coming back to the ice after the second intermission.
They didn't even wait that long.
The Tomahawks had only two penalties in the game up to that point and the Owls had seven. The score was 4-1 after one period and the lead got up to 8-1 before things boiled over. The Tomahawks are enjoying an undefeated season and stand atop the Division II standings at 14-0, while Timberlane has struggled this year and is now 1-13.
Some coaches spoken to about the situation said they believe the punishment for such actions would be a one-year suspension.
NHIAA Executive Director Pat Corbin could not be reached for comment either.
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Scott Sayer said:
Merrimack is a great team I just dont understand the D2 thing. D1 schools are closer to them so the travel isnt an issue and they would be a top the D1 rankings also. I'm confused here
February 14, 2013 4:33 am
Sam Allen said:
Scott - In order to move to D1, Merrimack would have to petition the NHIAA and it would be their decision. Let's look at Berlin moving from D1 to D3. Why? They had consistently been in the middle of D1. Now they are dominating DIII. But this has nothing to do with the article. I have coached hockey for 20 years and have never seen a coach take his team off the ice before the end of the game. Were they getting beaten badly? Yes. But Timberlane had 7 penalites to Merrimack's 2. Due to kids leaving high school hockey in favor of low-level junior teams, the overall quality of players in NH high school hockey has deteriorated. Because of that, 2 or 3 really good players can dominate a team and sometimes the league. Merrimack has some highly skilled players this year but a public high school can never count on that in the long run. You have to play the hand you are dealt every year. Some years are good others not so much. I have no idea what the Timberlane coach was doing and/or thinking. Must have had a breakdown.
February 14, 2013 1:01 pm
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