WINTER Olympic fever is spreading far and wide, even to the sleepy backwaters of Milton Keynes.
On Sunday in the British Ice Hockey League, Milton Keynes Lightning were playing Guildford Flames, when American Matt Nickerson, the home side’s bad-tempered defenceman, thumped a fan, as he left the ice.
There’s always plenty of cut-and-thrust on the ice, but this was a step too far, and Milton Keynes sacked him on the spot.
The League also issued a 20-game ban, which will follow him to wherever his next port of call is.
The official league report said. “Nickerson left the players’ bench for the purpose of engaging in a physical altercation with an opposing player.
“He physically broke free of the linesman to try to engage an opposition player on several occasions. While leaving the playing surface, Nickerson took his stick and moved it from his right hand to his left hand.
“It was an indication that there was premeditated thought on Nickerson’s part, because he delivered a forceful back-hand punch, directly to the head of an unsuspecting fan.”
Milton Keynes were shocked at the incident and ended the player’s contract straight away. They also apologised to the victim, and other spectators in the building.
A spokesman said: “It is unacceptable at any time that supporters are threatened, or made to feel unsafe.”
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