Deeside Dragons’ boss Lol Paul has criticised Widnes Wild Player/Coach Scott McKenzie, after his opposite number refused to continue with Saturday’s NIHL North game between the two teams.
The Laidler D2 champions were leading 3-1 after 25 minutes, when players from both sides took part in a brawl.
McKenzie subsequently took his team off the ice and told officials he wasn’t prepared to put his players at risk of serious injury by continuing the game.
In a statement on the club’s website McKenzie said: “Lee Kemp has been taken to hospital with a serious head injury and we will post an update on his condition when he has been fully assessed by the doctors at the hospital.
“Greg Ruxton has also suffered a serious injury and is unlikely to play again this season.”
Paul blasted McKenzie’s actions and defended his own players. In an interview with the Leader he said: “It was a derby game that was obviously very emotional.
“We’ll probably meet them in the play-offs and for the last few weeks I’ve been getting the lads into play-off mode.
“We’re marked by our tempo and we started the game quick and were checking the body.
“Scott knew he had to keep his players fresh for the cup game they had (against Solway Sharks) and he was looking for an excuse.
“It was a joke – in 40 years in hockey, I’ve never seen a team walk off the ice. I’ve been on the end of drubbings before but I’ve never walked off.
“There was nothing malicious in it. There’s two things you don’t do in hockey – you don’t quit and you don’t let your fans down.
“He’s obviously jealous and didn’t want to go through humiliation – we’d have put 10 past them.”
(Image permission: PSD-Images)