Eagle Radio {%endif%}

Eagle Radio

www.eagleradio.co.uk

{%endif%}
Visit the website to find out more
Visit the website to find out more

Lightning player sacked after punching fan during Guildford Flames game

4 minute read
Lightning player sacked after punching fan during Guildford Flames game

Published at 10:52am 2nd February 2018. (Updated at 1:16pm 2nd February 2018)

A Milton Keynes Lightning ice hockey player has been sacked after punching a spectator at a recent match against the Guildford Flames.

It happened at the Spectrum on Sunday (January 28).

A report by the Elite Ice Hockey League said Matt Nickerson had received two match penalties.

One was for abusing an official after leaving the players' bench for a possible physical altercation with an opposing player.

The League said: "At no time is a player allowed to skate at, intimidate or physical demean an opposing player whilst under the restraint of a game official.

"Nickerson left the players bench to entertain a possible physical altercation with an opposing player. In his lengthy venture to engage an opponent, Nickerson did not follow instructions from the game officials, and physically broke free of the linesman to try to engage an opposing player on multiple occasions.

"Considering Nickerson had no regard or respect for the game officials and left the players bench for the purpose of engaging in a physical altercation with an opposing player, supplementary discipline is required and the Elite League Department of Player Safety has suspended Matt Nickerson for 6 games for Abuse of Official."

It said the other was for punching an unsuspecting fan in the head: "While leaving the playing surface, but still located on the ice, Nickerson takes his stick and moves it from his right hand to his left hand.

"This is the start of an action that sets-up Nickerson for a physical motion with his right hand. It also is an indication that there is premeditated thought on Nickerson’s part to do something physical.

"While stepping off the ice, with the gate directly to his right, Nickerson begins a winding up motion with his right arm. Unsuspecting to the fan who is located behind the gate, Nickerson delivers a forceful backhand punch directly to the head of the fan.

"Fighting off the ice surface does not have the same rules as fighting on the ice surface; and hitting a fan off the ice surface is treated with an entirely different level of severity.

"At no time is a player allowed to engage with a fan.

"It is the responsibility of the player not to make physical contact with a fan.

"In this case, Nickerson engaged and physical demeaned the fan of his own free will.

"As a result of these actions, the Elite League Department of Player Safety has suspended Matt Nickerson for 14 games for Engaging with a Spectator."

The League has suspended him for 20 games.

Nickerson featured in 36 Elite League games for the Lightning, and a further seven Challenge Cup games.

Meanwhile the Lightning said Nickerson is no longer with them - saying they have "parted company with immediate effect."

A statement on the club's website said: "Ice Hockey is a family sport and it is unacceptable that at any time supporters are threatened or made to feel unsafe.

"As a club we do not condone what happened and Matt has been held accountable for his actions by both the Elite League Department of Player Safety and by the club.

"Milton Keynes Lightning takes the safety of their players, opposing players and most importantly the spectators very seriously, and the League need to ensure that all member clubs are compliant in their player and spectator safety procedures."

 

Contact Us

If you would like to submit a query or provide more information on this story please get in touch below.

Please wait...
  • Up to 3 JPG or PNG images, 2MB max size
  • We will always endeavour to credit you when we publish your pictures.
  • By uploading you are agreeing to this non-exclusive reuse, royalty-free, across all Eagle Radio platforms, which extends to our partner broadcasters.
  • You retain copyright to all images.
  • If you would like to send us a video, please upload to YouTube or similar and paste the video URL into the message above.