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The Buffalo News (New York)
An Erie Community College hockey player who decked a referee during the National Junior College Athletic Association championship game on Sunday will be prosecuted on a criminal charge.
ECC's Brandon Day, a freshman defenseman from West Seneca, faces several charges and may face additional charges as the investigation remains open, said Broome Community College Public Safety Chief Joe O'Connor.
Day, 19, was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief, a misdemeanor, and two violations, second-degree harassment and disorderly conduct, O'Connor said.
Day exited the penalty box and skated hard directly into the referee, who had broken up a fight during ECC's game against Dakota College of Bottineau at Broome Community College. The remaining 39 seconds of the game were called off. Dakota College defeated the Kats, 7-4.
Video of the incident has been widely shared via a Sports Illustrated tweet; the video was also included on ESPN's Sportscenter Sunday night.
ECC suspended Day from the college for this week, though further evaluation of the incident and the possibility of additional penalties will be explored, said college spokesman Michael Farrell.
In a written statement issued Monday, school officials apologized for what they described as "the inexcusable on-ice incident."
"The act of one player is in no way indicative of our mission as an educational institution, and it does not personify the cordiality and dedication to service instilled in our student body," college President Jack Quinn said. "We regret that this instance marred an otherwise thrilling game between our student athletes and those of Dakota College of Bottineau, and we will handle this situation with all appropriate disciplinary actions."
College Athletic Director Peter Jerebko said the Athletic Department "deeply regrets" what happened and called Day's actions "completely unacceptable, and it will not be tolerated within our athletic program."
"Our hockey program is one of great sportsmanship both on and off the ice, but last night's incident was not indicative of that tradition. It was the act of a single individual who, today, is deeply remorseful, and is in the process of reaching out to both host Broome County Community College and the game's official," Jerebko said in a statement. "We join him in this remorse, and extend it to the National Junior College Athletic Association, BCCC, champions Dakota College of Bottineau, and the game's entire officiating crew."
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