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Hockey Player Pleads Innocent

January 28, 1998

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) _ Hockey player Jason MacIntyre of the Phoenix Mustangs was kicked out of the West Coast Hockey League on Tuesday after being charged with second-degree assault for bashing another player with his stick.

MacIntyre, a native of Nova Scotia, pleaded innocent Monday in Pierce County Superior Court. He posted bail of $10,000 and was released. If convicted, he could face up to nine months in jail.

The 25-year-old defenseman was suspended for the remainder of the 1997-98 regular season and playoffs as well as being permanently barred from league play, the league said Tuesday.

``Incidents of this nature will not be tolerated, and players who come to the West Coast Hockey League can be assured that the league is committed to the overall safety of its players,″ said league President Michael G. McCall in a statement issued in Boise, Idaho.

During a game with the Tacoma Sabercats on ``Kids Night″ at the Tacoma Dome, MacIntyre swung his stick with both hands and hit the Sabercats’ Thom Cullen in the nose. Cullen suffered a broken nose and several large gashes to the face.

MacIntyre apparently was angered after he and Cullen collided during the game’s first period and MacIntyre’s nose was injured. Cullen said the collision was accidental.

Witnesses heard MacIntyre threaten Cullen several times during the next period. MacIntyre told Cullen to ``wipe that smile off your face. You won’t be smiling when I break my stick over your face,″ court records show.

Pierce County deputy prosecutor Lilah Amos said she filed a charge in the assault because she believes the incident went far beyond the bounds of normal athletic competition and because it appeared to be premeditated.

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