HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Colorado State University club hockey player faces a disorderly conduct charge after he allegedly checked a referee during a national tournament in Connecticut.
A.J. Hau, 24, apparently was upset after a loss to William Paterson in the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division II national tournament in Simsbury on March 19, police said.
The referee, whose name has not been released, claimed Hau lowered his shoulder and slammed him into the boards shortly after William Paterson won the game in overtime, 5-4.
“I guess he got a running start, put his shoulder down and slammed him into the boards,” said Simsbury police Capt. Matt Catania. “The kids out there on the blogs and message boards say he 'gave him the bump.' In our state, that's called disorderly conduct.”
Hau told the Rocky Mountain Collegian newspaper that he “barely bumped” the referee, who had ejected him earlier in the game.
“I made a mistake and I realize that, but it's getting blown out of proportion,” Hau told the student newspaper.
Colorado State coach Kelly Newton said the team is standing behind Hau.
“It was a pretty intense moment after overtime, and everyone was pushing and shoving still,” Newton said. “He went over to tell the ref how he felt about the end of the game, and some contact was made, incidental contact as far as we and the player are concerned.”
Chris Wilk, the ACHA's executive director, said the association is looking into the incident and would announce any sanctions against the player or program once the investigation is complete.
Hau is due in Superior Court on April 1 on the misdemeanor charge. A conviction can carry a sentence of up to three months in jail and a fine of up to $500.