A mother is speaking out after her daughter was allegedly hit by a hockey coach from an opposing team. The family is looking to press charges against the coach, who Durham police say is also an officer with the force.
The incident was captured on camera during a tournament in Pittsburgh over American Thanksgiving weekend.
The Ayr Rockets Atom B hockey team can be seen in the video shaking hands post-game with their opponents, the Clarington Flames. All of a sudden, one player comes crashing down onto the ice.
That player was Vanessa Janzen’s 10-year-old daughter, Brooklyn, who plays for the Rockets.
“When I discovered what had happened was when I went back to our hotel and we downloaded the video and I watched it. At that time I was extremely upset,” Janzen said.
The hockey mom said she didn’t believe her daughter until watching the footage. It’s alleged an assistant coach on the Flames struck her daughter, causing her to fall.
“There’s been a couple things that have maybe been suggested they were upset about the way she was playing the game,” Janzen said.
“I don’t understand why that justifies a coach taking it upon himself to discipline her by striking her and pushing her to the ground.”
Durham police have confirmed the coach in question is an active officer .
“We’ve been made aware of this video and the professional standards unit is currently investigating it,” Dave Selby with DRPS said.
“Obviously, it’s a concern for us.”
The Ontario Women’s Hockey Association told Global News it’s also aware of the alleged incident.
“We have been in communication with the Ayr and Clarington Girls Hockey Associations and both have been cooperating,” OWHA president Fran Rider said in an e-mail.
“We have no further comment on the allegations that are currently being investigated by the police.”
Janzen says Brooklyn has missed some school and is still healing emotionally from the incident.
The family hopes that by pressing charges against the coach, what allegedly happened to her daughter won’t happen to anyone else.
“He needs to be dealt with, he needs to be reprimanded and it needs to be brought to the forefront that this stuff happens in hockey and these kids are not always protected,” Janzen said.
Durham, Waterloo and Pittsburgh police say they’re working together to investigate the situation.
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