Farmington Hockey Players Being Held Out Of All-Star Game For Behavior Of Fans
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Tonight Utah High School Hockey is hosting an All-Star Game at the Maverik Center, but four Farmington players will be forced to sit out.
Players from across the state have been voted in and will get the chance to represent their school or independent team in skills competitions and a game. For many of these players, it will be their last opportunity to play for their high school and also a chance to play in front of scouts from local colleges.
Four seniors from Farmington are being held out of the game in an apparent miscommunication. The players are being punished by the Utah High School Hockey trustees for the behavior of their fans at their recent state championship game. According to the board and Farmington’s head coach Gordan Whittier, the number of spectators allowed at the game was limited and some Farmington fans tried to sneak into the game.
Congratulations to Park City on winning the D1 Affiliated State Championship. Photo courtesy of Blake Palmer/Shutterspeed.
It’s important to note that high school hockey in Utah has a board of trustees because they are not sanctioned or managed by UHSAA.
According to the Utah High School Hockey Board, the four players can’t participate because they are not in good standing with one of the venues used for the championship series – The Ogden Ice Sheet. But according to a statement provided to KSL Sports from the Ogden Ice Sheet, the players are in good standing with the rink.
“There have been no formal discussions with UHSH to ban Farmington from the facility,” The statement reads, “We would like to reiterate that the facility had no problem with the players but did have issues with the unsafe environment that some parents and unapproved guests created for our staff. We sincerely hope UHSH can find a way to reconcile the actions of a few non-players and still recognize players for their hard work.”
In a recent board meeting, the trustees also accused those fans of exchanging harsh words with officials.
When it comes to high school hockey in Utah, typically, before any discipline is handed out, there is a hearing by a disciplinary committee. That did not happen. In a meeting following the incident, the issue was put to vote and board members voted to stand by the decision to hold the Farmington All-Stars out of the game. The exact vote count was not provided in a copy of the meeting minutes.
Utah High School Hockey Board President Shannon Woodall made her case at the hearing, “You’re not in good standing with one of our rinks, our contracted rinks, therefor you are not in good standing with us.”
KSL Sports has reached out to Woodall for comment but has not heard back.
“We sent the (COVID specific) rules through our email, they have been consistent all season with each rink having their own version of the rules. We pay into the league to provide security for the games and we all knew based on previous state championships there would need to be more security for this game,” Farmington Coach Gordan Whittier told KSL Sports, “The system worked and everyone did their jobs. We’ve even purposed a counteroffer of having the coaching staff suspended from the All-Star game and having no fans allowed for their first three games of next season, so the boys would not miss out on tonight’s game.”
Friday 2/26 brings 2 Championship games, due to limited spectators you can catch the live streams at the links…
Rumors about the players being held out of the game started flying well before the meeting of the board took place in which they voted to hold the players out.
As of now, the Farmington players will not play in tonight’s All-Star game.