This is one of those instances where the punishment fits the crime.
A junior hockey player in the USPHL has received a lifetime ban for a brutal sucker punch on a referee. The incident occured in a USPHL game between the South Shore Kings and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights on Sunday.
South Shore Kings’ forward Paul Halloran wasn’t happy with a penalty call made against him. Halloran skated up to the linesman who made the call and dropped him with a sucker punch. The ref then escorted Halloran to the penalty box.
Ice hockey broadcasting website HockeyTV was streaming the game on their website. A Twitter user with the username @Tarpsoffmclovin uploaded a clip of Halloran’s punch to social media. It received immediate outcry by people within the hockey community.
The punch is simply gutless. At least the linesman bounced right back up after getting clocked. You can watch the sucker punch below.
Safe to say, I don’t think he liked what the ref said to him 🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/zJUe61SMUT
— Justin (McLovin) (@tarpsoffmclovin) February 20, 2022
It didn’t take long for USPHL commissioner Bob Turow to address the incident. Turow released a statement about the punch on Sunday after the game. In the statement, Turow states that Halloran is banned for life from the UPSHL.
Turow also claims that the incident is being investigated by the local authorities. Halloran may be looking at additional criminal charges on top of his lifetime ban.
Here’s USPHL commissioner Turow’s full statement:
Statement From USPHL Commissioner.
“The action taken today by a USPHL player is completely unacceptable in the USPHL. The USPHL has zero tolerance for any player striking any official, at any time. The player in question’s actions have led to a lifetime ban.
— USPHL (@USPHL) February 20, 2022
We couldn’t agree more with the USPHL’s zero tolerance policy for striking officials. While a lifetime ban from a league is a harsh punishment, it’s deserved in this instance.
Some hockey fans have actually come to the defense of Halloran and his sucker punch of the referee. Former NHL ref Dave Jackson released a strong statement condemning those people.
“I can’t believe there are comments on here justifying this sucker-punch”, said Jackson. “This is an inexcusable act and it’s why we’re losing minor hockey officials at an alarming rate. Imagine that was your son or daughter officiating.”
I can’t believe there are comments on here justifying this sucker-punch. This is an inexcusable act and it’s why we’re losing minor hockey officials at an alarming rate. Imagine that was your son or daughter officiating. https://t.co/cv0i7mxZjG
— Dave Jackson (@ESPNRefNHL) February 21, 2022
Halloran had 15 goals and 28 points in 39 games for South Shore this season, to go with 83 PIM. His team may miss his offensive production, but hockey referees in the USPHL are sure to be celebrating Halloran’s lifetime ban.