Hockey: Tommies Goalie a Marked Man?

Pretty exciting game at the Lady Beaverbrook Rink in Fredericton last night. Saint Thomas was looking for their first win of the season, hosting the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus, the same team that embarrassed STU 10-1 on opening weekend. Charles Lavigne was back in nets for the Tommies, after completing a four game suspension for an incident back on February 12. In that game against Acadia, the puck was knocked off the netting and into the net. Lavigne thought the play should have been blown down, and fired the puck in the direction of referee Mark Hulshof, who in turn whistled him for a match penalty. Lavigne told the Daily Gleaner's Bruce Hallihan:

"I deserved to get punished for what I did. It's disrepectful shooting a puck after a goal. I, obviously, didn't mean to shoot the puck at the referee because that's pretty much one of the stupidest things anybody could do. I hit the boards, I'd say, five-to-10 feet beside him and he wrote it up like I tried to hurt him, which I didn't. But it's something that I have to live with," he said, "because it was my lapse of judgment there. It's over with now and I'm anxious to move ahead."

So back to last night. Prodigal son Kenton Dulle scored a highlight reel goal early in the first period to give the home team the lead. Former short-time Dal Tiger Mathieu Melanson scored a bit of a softie late in the period, and Hockey News blogger Jason Cassidy scored early in the second period to put the Tommies up 3-0.

Then Moncton woke up. Defenceman Jean-Phillippe Pacquet deflected a shot past Lavigne a couple of minutes later. Rookie forward Alex Leduc one-timed a pass from fellow rookie Kevan Charland at 13:23 of the second to make it 3-2. Later, with three minutes left in the third period, Leduc scored again to tie it up and force overtime. Up to now UdeM has outshot STU 41-26 and Lavigne is the first star of the game.

In the ten minute overtime, both teams squander power plays for goaltender interference before Russian-born rookie Yuri Cheremetiev scores for STU at 8:33. A visibly excited Lavigne explodes out of his net, and bangs his stick loudly on the ice as he skates towards his teammates. As he passes the Moncton players, who have spilled onto the ice in front of their bench, he curls towards Alex Leduc, brings his left trapper hand up towards Leduc's face as if he's going to give him a face wash, and then turns away back towards his teammates. Well Leduc takes exception, there's a fracas at centre ice, lots of pushing, shoving, and chirping, and the officials send both teams to their dressing room and abort the customary post-game handshakes. Fine.

Then after the game we find out that Lavigne has been given a gross misconduct by referee Tom Clarkson, which means an automatic two-game suspension. And STU head coach Mike Eagles and UdeM head coach Serge Bourgeois were each handed game misconducts for not controlling their players. Two games, and Lavigne didn't even touch the guy ... and I had a clear view from metres away. Classy? No. Sporting? No. Dumb? Yes. But intent to injure? I don't think so. From my viewpoint it looked like the referee over-reacted in assuming that Lavigne had struck the Moncton player, and since Lavigne has a "record", well let's show everyone who is boss and throw the book at him and the coaches. Sad.

STU wins, then loses Lavigne again (Bill Hunt, The Daily Gleaner)
Tommies eke out OT win (Randy Corey, Radio)
Lavigne back in goal (Bruce Hallihan, The Daily Gleaner)
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  1. With no contact, the penalty would definitely be an over zealous move by the ref. That being said, Lavigne NEEDS TO GAIN CONTROL.

    I sat behind his net for two periods last night, he was constantly yelling at players (his own and Moncton) telling the refs how to do their job, and swinging his stick in ways that reminded me of Billy Smith in the old Islander days.

    There is no doubt that Lavigne has talent, but his temper is out of control.

  2. I agree, he is intense and needs to find a way to control that infamous temper. But admit it, he is fun to watch even if he is not a role model for young goalies. Chirping at the zebras is never a good idea, but still ... two games?!