As her son lay unconscious on the ice, Mary Anne Shackell was sure she didn’t just witness a routine hockey play.
She witnessed an assault.
That’s what she told Cornwall police, who are now launching a criminal investigation after Scott Shackell, 20, star goaltender for the Kanata Stallions, was knocked unconscious and knocked out of the Tier 1 Central Hockey League playoff series against the heavily-favoured Cornwall Colts on Sunday.
“Obviously there’s something going on there,” said the goaltender’s mother Monday, who watched as Colts forward Michael Borkowski rammed into Shackell in the opening minute of Sunday’s playoff contest at the Cornwall arena.
“He was clearing the puck and was blindsided out of nowhere,” she said.
She also watched her son absorb a heavy hit from another Cornwall player on Friday in Kanata, a play that prompted the league to warn teams against running goaltenders in an e-mail circulated before Sunday’s game.
But the Stallions’ coach is accusing Cornwall, or at least Borkowski, of ignoring that message.
“It’s not the 1970s or ’80s. You can’t be running goalies, you have to protect your players,” said Adam Dewan.
Shackell spent Sunday night in hospital in Cornwall before he was transferred to the Queensway-Carleton Hospital and released Monday.
Cornwall owner and head coach Ian MacInnis didn’t immediately return calls Monday, but told reporters after Sunday’s game, “I have no intention of taking goaltenders out of games ... there was definitely no intent (to injure).”
“At a certain point we were just trying to get out of it alive,” said MacInnis. “I thought for the most part our guys were fairly disciplined.”