The Federal Prospects Hockey League — formerly known as the Federal Hockey League — has struggled to garner much positive publicity as of late.
It was just last April that one of the league’s goaltenders attacked a fan that had thrown a drink in his face after a hotly-contested playoff game.
Fast forward to Jan. 2020 and the Single-A Minor Professional Hockey League is making headlines for all the wrong reasons once again.
In the dying seconds of a game between the Mentor Ice Breakers and Carolina Thunderbirds on Saturday, Ice Breakers defenceman Brody Duncan purposely took a slapshot directly into the Thunderbirds’ bench following a neutral zone faceoff. After members of Carolina’s team clued into what had just happened, a short but wild brawl ensued.
To further put the stupidity of Duncan’s decision into context, Carolina was up 7-2 at the time.
Per Bus League Hockey, one person on the Carolina bench was reportedly hit. Thankfully, this individual wasn’t seriously injured.
On top of the Thunderbirds players that were on the ice that went after Duncan, couple of Carolina’s players that were on the bench jumped the boards as well to get a piece of the rearguard. When all was said and done, the brawl resulted in 56 minutes in penalties — 15 of which went to Duncan for spearing and a game misconduct.
On Tuesday, the league announced that Duncan has been suspended “the remaining 25 games of the regular season, playoffs, and an undisclosed fine as a result of his actions...”
According to the commissioner’s statement, the Mentor organization assisted with determining the severity of the suspension upon further investigation.
“We cannot allow a player to act in a manner detrimental to the game and with such reckless disregard,” the statement read.
Duncan was originally suspended for just 15 games when the league announced its suspensions on Sunday. Four others involved in the brawl were also slapped with time away from the rink.
Suspensions are out. pic.twitter.com/qHr40rZNRo— Bus League Hockey (@BusLeagueHockey) January 26, 2020
The 25-year-old is in his second year with Mentor Ice Breakers. Through 33 games, he had seven goals, 21 points and 109 penalty minutes. He racked up 188 penalty minutes in 43 regular season contests last season.
Nick Russo, Mentor’s director of Hockey Operations, released a statement to do with the incident on Monday.
“The Mentor Ice Breakers would like to apologize to our great fans, the Federal Prospects Hockey League, the officiating crew, and the Carolina Thunderbirds as well as their fans for the incident that occurred this past Saturday night at the end of the game,” the statement read. “We as an organization do not condone nor tolerate this type of behaviour.”
If this story doesn’t have enough going on within it, Brody’s father — former Winnipeg Jet Iain Duncan — is Mentor’s head coach and general manager.
Talk about nepotism gone wrong.
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