The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) announced disciplinary measures against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats following an investigation into allegations of hazing.
On Tuesday, Sept. 13, KIJHL was notified of the incident by Thunder Cats staff, which led to an immediate suspension of the team’s activities. The exhibition game against the Fernie Ghostriders, scheduled for the following evening, was cancelled.
KIJHL staff travelled to Creston on Thursday to conduct interviews with Thunder Cats’ players and coaches, in consultation with Safe Sport partner, ITP Sport, and BC Hockey.
“Our investigation made clear that we have considerable work to do in order to educate our players on the standard of behaviour and leadership expected of them in a team environment,” said commission Jeff Dubois. “We take this responsibility seriously, and we are taking immediate steps to address this issue.”
As a result of the KIJHL’s investigation, the Thunder Cats have received a fine and have been placed on probation for two-year period.
During probation, proactive steps must be taken towards creating a positive team culture. Members of the Thunder Cats organization will be required to complete training designed to identify and eliminate abuse, bullying, and harassment. If any similar incidents are reported, further sanctions will be issued.
Effective Sept. 16, Thunder Cats team captain Clayton Brown has been suspended for 12 games, and alternate captain Campbell McLean has been suspended for six games for violations of KIJHL’s Individual Conduct Policy.
“The KIJHL is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for our athletes, volunteers, staff and fans,” said Dubois. “What occurred in Creston was unacceptable, and the discipline imposed against the Thunder Cats’ organization and members of the team reflect our zero-tolerance approach to these types of incidents.”