A junior ice hockey clash in Russia was marked by ugly scenes when a young goalie decided to pull out a stick – literally!
But he didn’t target opposition players or even a team-mate, instead he tackled two senior referees. And, in extraordinary scenes, he sought to wrap his hockey stick around their heads, having been furious earlier in the game after being penalized.
The incident was caught on video, with those filming appearing to find the whole situation hysterical. But for tournament organizers in the Sverdlovsk region of Kurganovo, the violence was no laughing matter.
According to Russian time online, the 10-year-old goalkeeper is called Artemi Akshumov. Moments before his misguided attack, and with his team trailing 10-1, he was deemed to have tripped an opponent by the officials.
At first it was his own goal that paid the price as the youngster smashed it several times with his stick. Artemi’s anger then escalated as he lashed out at an opponent before charging halfway through to confront the referees.
He appeared to hit one with his fist, then sought to attack the other, hitting it repeatedly over the head with his stick. In an effort to put an end to the madness, an official then signaled the end of the match.
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The footage was shared on Russian social media Telegram by former KHL player Nikita Shchitov, to the apparent delight of casual sports fans. Not so much, perhaps, at the Yekaterinburg Youth Sports School, which the hothead represented.
The team would have finished in last place overall in the event, suffering five defeats and scoring seven goals, while conceding 62. And according to Match TVArtemi racked up 47 penalty minutes during the tournament.
Ice hockey has long been one of Russia’s most important sports, with the country enjoying massive success at world and Olympic levels. The country is currently suspended from international competition amid its invasion of Ukraine.