Nelson Leafs forward Jaden Shumilak takes a shot during Saturday’s game against Kamloops. Photo: Tyler Harper

Junior hockey game in Nelson ends with accusation of racist taunts

Nelson’s coach said a Kamloops Storm player used insensitive language

A Nelson junior hockey coach accused a visiting Kamloops player of racially taunting one of his team members during a Kootenay International Junior Hockey League game Saturday.

After the Leafs’ 4-2 win over the Kamloops Storm, assistant coach Adam DiBella was furious with what he said had been insensitive remarks toward a player throughout the game.

“Sometimes winning a game is more than just two points,” said DiBella.

“When there is awful, racial language being directed toward our bench from their players … it just makes you want to get the win even more. Quite honestly, there’s not a lot of place, not even in the game but in society, for anything like that.”

DiBella declined to name the players involved. He said he complained to the officiating crew during the game, but nothing came of it.

“I don’t blame the refs one bit,” he said. “They told me they’d look out for it, but they can’t make a call they didn’t hear.”

Storm head coach Steve Gainey said he heard nothing from the officials and thought there may have been a misunderstanding.

“One of the things that came out was he said, ‘We’re back, baby’ and the kid took it as ‘We black, baby.’ So I think there’s a place where the kid might be a little sensitive and maybe had it happen in the past, which is understandable,” said Gainey.

“We looked at it on the bench right away as soon as it came up, because it is obviously something that we would take really seriously within our own organization. So that was the response we got and it was kind of the end of it on our end. … Nobody in our group, when I challenged the situation, said anything like that came out.”

Both DiBella and Gainey were tossed from the game late in the third period.

The next day, Gainey told Kamloops This Week that Leafs players surrounded the Storm’s bus with five cars after the game.

“There was just a lot of continued emotion carried forward from the game from them, in their excitement to win and our frustration in the loss, having gone through a real emotional game on the ice with the amount of drama that we’re talking about,” he said. “For it to carry off the ice was a challenging thing for our boys to deal with.”

Leafs head coach Mario DiBella told the Star his players did not surround the Storm’s bus and Gainey was not telling the truth.

“That’s a poor excuse for bad conduct by their coaching staff,” said DiBella.

Cole Wyatt scored twice, Shawn Campbell and Reid Wilson had singles and Anderson Violette made 18 saves for the Leafs (11-2-3), who won their 11th straight game.

Chris Thon scored twice for the Storm (4-12-1), who lost for the seventh consecutive contest. Goaltender Ethan Paulin-Hatch stopped 22 shots for Kamloops.

— With files from Kamloops This Week reporter Marty Hastings



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Nelson Leafs

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney Community Association aims to generate enthusiasm for OCP review

First of several community engagement sessions starts March 1

Coast Capital Savings in Saanich to re-open after COVID-19 scare

The branch closed ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Athletes gear up for Pan Am XC Cup at Bear Mountain Saturday

This is the first time Canada is hosting the championships

Extra precautions against COVID-19 put in place as tourism season arrives

Airports and border services follow federal cues to minimize spread of coronavirus

Nominations for Victoria municipal byelection are in

Victoria will elect one councillor

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Lawyer gets house arrest for possessing child porn

Maple Ridge resident gets nine-month term

Most Read