Ask the Official: Is purposely trying to break an opponent’s stick a penalty?

By Dave Zednik

QUESTION: There were two players in front of the net battling for position. The defensive player lost his stick during the battle for positioning. As the play headed out of the zone the defensive player went to his bench while the offensive player stomped on the defensive player’s stick that was left behind multiple times in what appear to be an attempt to break the stick. Should a penalty be assessed?

ANSWER: If the official is certain the offending player is trying to break the opponent’s stick (by stepping on it multiple times) then a minor for Unsportsmanlike Conduct could be assessed to the offending player. This is not a “hockey play” and it’s not a part of competition. The only conclusion is it is meant to incite the opponent.



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