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B.C. junior hockey team on probation, fined for hazing incident

A junior hockey team in B.C. is in trouble after a hazing investigation.

The Creston Valley Thunder Cats of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) has been put on probation for two years and fined an undisclosed amount of money following a probe into troubling reports.

The league has not provided any details into what happened.

“The KIJHL is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for our athletes, volunteers, staff and fans,” said Jeff Dubois in a statement.

“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.”

The league says it was notified of “the incident” by Thunder Cats staff on Sept. 13. The team was “immediately suspended,” the KIJHL says, adding the next evening’s exhibition game was also cancelled.

Team members and coaches were interviewed in by KIJHL staff in the days after the report, the league says, adding it has been in ongoing contact with its Safe Sport Partner and with BC Hockey.

In addition to the probation and fine, the Thunder Cats have also been directed to “take proactive steps to ensure a positive team culture free from abuse, bullying and harassment” and to undergo training.

“Any occurrence of a similar incident will result in further sanctions,” the league adds.

Meanwhile, the team’s captain, Clayton Brown, and alternate captain, Campbell McLean, have been suspended — Brown for 12 games and McLean for six.

“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. We take this responsibility seriously, and we are taking immediate steps to address this issue,” said Dubois.

In a statement posted online, the Creston Thunder Cats say the allegations were immediately reported to the KIJHL.

“In the following days, the organization fully cooperated with the ensuing investigation and supports the disciplinary measures that have come out of it,” it reads, in part.

“The act of hazing is unacceptable and the club is taking immediate steps to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.”

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