No charges for Cornwall junior player

AEDAN HELMER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:00 PM ET

Cornwall police will not pursue assault charges against a Cornwall Colts hockey player who rammed an opposing goaltender during a March 13 playoff game, saying “the collision and resulting injury did not fall within criminal standards.”

Police investigated the assault complaint after Kanata Stallions goaltender Scott Shackell was knocked unconscious 57 seconds into a playoff contest between the teams on Sunday in Cornwall. Colts forward Michael Borkowski was penalized for charging on the play, and has been suspended indefinitely by the Central Canada Hockey League.

Shackell’s parents, who lodged the assault complaint with Cornwall cops, said they accepted the police decision.

“We’re not out to point fingers at individuals, we’re just disgusted at the way Scott was hurt. He never saw (Borkowski) coming and the next thing he knew he was flat on the ice looking up at the lights. His brain was rattled,” said Mary-Ann Shackell, whose son is at home recovering from a concussion. “What we’re hoping for is there are some changes made in the league.”

Shackell was examined Tuesday by concussion specialist Dr. Mark Aubry, and was told to avoid physical exertion for seven to 10 days.

“Hockey is a physical contact sport, obviously it was an unfortunate incident, but it was left up to Cornwall police to figure out (if there was sufficient evidence) and they’re the experts,” said Shackell, 20. “I appreciate the attention that surrounded the whole incident, and there were some other incidents from that game that were pretty serious.”

Matthew Zanardo was also suspended indefinitely by the league after an ugly incident where the 6-foot-6 Colts defenceman stalked 5-foot-10 Stallions forward Brandon Bussey around the ice before spearing, then sucker-punching and cross-checking the smaller player in the back of the head.

Videos of both incidents posted to YouTube sparked outrage in local hockey circles.

Kanata’s Ryan Bradley served a one-game suspension after he was ejected from Sunday’s contest and assessed a “travesty of game” gross misconduct penalty for flashing his middle finger to Cornwall fans as he was escorted from the ice.

Police said they conducted an “extensive review” of the digital video that captured Shackell’s injury and interviewed “relevant witnesses” before consulting with the Crown attorney’s office.

League commissioner Kevin Abrams has not commented on the length of the suspensions, or any other supplementary discipline stemming from Sunday’s game.

Headshots came under increased scrutiny at all levels of hockey recently with the NHL’s board of governors debating the issue this week.

On Wednesday, OHL commissioner David Branch came down hard with a 10-game suspension to Niagara IceDogs defenceman Tim Billingsley, who delivered a devastating check to the head of Ottawa 67’s forward Shane Prince in a March 11 regular- season game.


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