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04/02/2014 09:27 EDT | Updated 06/02/2014 05:59 EDT

Hockey parents get 3-year ban for dressing-room fight

A Winnipeg couple has been banned from watching their eight-year-old son play hockey for three years after they got into a fistfight with the opposing team's coaches during a kids tournament in Fargo, N.D., earlier this year.

The parents are appealing the three-year ban, which is the stiffest penalty ever handed out by Hockey Winnipeg, the city's minor hockey governing body.

"Certainly new for Winnipeg, but based on the circumstances and the information that we've gleaned through the investigation, I felt that we needed to take a strong stance on the issue," Hockey Winnipeg president Don McIntosh told CBC News on Wednesday.

The parents of a player from the River East Royals white team got upset and stormed into the Lord Selkirk dressing room following a game between the teams in mid-February.

Hockey officials in North Dakota have said the mother was yelling, and as the Lord Selkirk coaches tried to escort her from the room, the woman's husband went after them.

That's when punches were allegedly thrown in front of eight-year-old players, according to Hockey Winnipeg.

McIntosh said some of the young players are still having nightmares about the incident today.

"The issue of invading the space of that team, the age of the children, the language, the physical encounter — way, way beyond anything I've experienced," he said.

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