Visiting Petes fans assaulted near JLC

PATRICK MALONEY -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:32 AM ET

In hockey terms, it was like getting high-sticked or speared in the groin.

Some of the on-ice nastiness in the London Knights-Peterborough Petes OHL final spilled into downtown London after Tuesday night's game, when two men barged aboard a marked bus full of visiting Petes fans and sprayed a fire extinguisher.

"They shouted 'Take this back to Peterborough with you' or something like that," said Brian Markle of Fenelon Falls, who was in the front seat.

"It seemed innocuous . . . until you realized you couldn't breathe."

No one was hurt on the bus filled with seniors, a handful of children and the sister and mother of one Petes player. The canister, the size of a two-litre pop bottle, was found a few blocks away, Markle said.

Decorated with Petes signs, the bus was parked near the southeast corner of the John Labatt Centre.

The unknown attackers left a black eye on an otherwise great night for the Petes fans: They watched their team win on a last-minute goal to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.

With a 4-3 win last night in Peterborough, the Petes swept the best-of-seven OHL championship series and earned a berth in the Memorial Cup in Moncton, N.B.

After the spray -- which left "the front of the bus just covered in powder," Markle said -- those on board filed off calmly. It didn't wreck the whole night, he added.

"That win meant way more than the incident. Nothing could spoil that win for us," said Markle, a retired teacher.


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