Melissa Elliott planned to have Sabastian play with the Rosedale Minor Hockey Association this season. But in the spring, his application was rejected because of her role in an on-ice protest earlier this year.
On Feb. 17, a brawl during a Rosedale Minor Hockey midget division game saw a couple of spectators storm the ice. The game was delayed, cutting down on the playing time for the next matchup, in which Elliott’s older daughter was playing.
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Furious that league officials were ordering the players to the dressing rooms, Elliott, yelling from the sidelines, encouraged the youngsters to stay on the ice.
“I was the third person to say to my daughter to stay on the ice,” said Elliott. “It was her choice whether she did or not. She did.”
Elliott’s daughter, 17-year-old Terry-Lynn, and five teammates were penalized under the City of Hamilton’s zero tolerance policy, suspended for the rest of the 2012-13 hockey season.
But the punishments weren’t only doled out to the players on the ice. The Rosedale Minor Hockey Association says Sabastian is not welcome to play there because of his mother’s involvement.
“We're all free to accept or deny registrations from anybody if we don't feel it's in the best interest of our association,” said association president Dan Rosser.
But Elliott said the move is “ridiculous” and unfairly punishes Sabastian, who had no role in the protest.
“It really has nothing to do with Sabastian playing hockey,” Elliott said. “The older children who were involved were penalized. They served their penalty and there should be no repercussion.”
Elliott said she has tried to register Sabastian with other associations across the city, but has had trouble finding spaces. It’s particularly difficult because he is a goalie, a position that most teams have already filled.
She’s still hoping a spot will come up before player examinations begin next weekend.
Elliot has avoided explaining the situation to Sabastian, and said he’s confused about why he can’t play in the Rosedale league.
“He says, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong, mom. Why can’t I play hockey with my friends?'”