The Aberdeen Lynx have threatened to withdraw from Scottish Ice Hockey (SIH) competitions “on the grounds of fairness and transparency” after coach Owen Reynolds and player Jack Flynn received heavy suspensions.
On a weekend which should have seen the Lynx carry a 7-5 lead into the second leg of their Scottish Cup semi-final with Dundee Comets, they instead became embroiled in an explosive dispute, effectively ending their season.
SIH ruled the Lynx had played a suspended player, in Flynn, in two league play-off games against the Comets and the Scottish cup semi opener in the Granite City – and all of those games have now been recorded as 5-0 Lynx losses, with Reynolds hammered with a six-game ban and Flynn five matches.
The confusion stems from a game in November where a serious injury to Lynx chair Martin Hill during the fixture prevented him from submitting a gamesheet.
However, the Lynx allege, despite this record of match events – including a major penalty point for Flynn – later being submitted and a £50 late fee paid, the SIH website hadn’t been updated ahead of the Comets games to show the player was ineligible to play.
They say it stated he had nine penalty points, not the 10 which incur a ban.
A Lynx statement questioned why mitigating circumstances and a failure to update records on the SIH’s part weren’t taken into account in the ruling.
They also said it had taken three games for the governing body to raise the issue and that they can no longer compete in the Scottish National League, Stuart Robertson Cup or Scottish Cup unless the current SIH board is removed due to a number of issues.
It read: “This coupled with a number of administrative failures, examples of inconsistent or non-application of the rules, including significant player and coach suspensions and the exclusion of an SNL team at the start of the season, many of which were overturned when appealed, have brought the team to a position that they have made the decision to no longer compete in a sport which is run by the current administration of SIH.
“Aberdeen Lynx have exhausted all avenues of challenge to the application of the SIH decision on the grounds of fairness and transparency.
“The Aberdeen Lynx organisation would like to take the opportunity to wish all other teams still competing in the 2018-19 season all the very best and look forward to being part of the league next year should a new administration be in place.
“We would also like to thank all of our players, fans, supporters, sponsors and volunteers for their unwavering hard work and dedication over the years. We are hopeful that the sport will be run with more professionalism, integrity and in line with best practice next season.”
An SIH spokesman said they would discuss the issue at a board meeting this week.
It read: “Scottish Ice Hockey can confirm it is aware of the statement released on social media by Aberdeen Lynx.
“The SIH board is due to meet and this issue has been added to the agenda.
“SIH will make no further comment with regards to this matter at this time and will release a statement after the meeting.”