ECAC Hockey suspends Cornell coach Mike Schafer one game

Photo courtesy of QBSN

By Mark Spillane

ECAC Hockey has suspended Cornell men’s ice hockey head coach Mike Schafer one game for his postgame conduct, including comments about Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold, following Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Quinnipiac.

Schafer will miss Cornell’s contest versus Clarkson this Friday, and the New Haven Register‘s Chip Malafronte reports it’s the fifth league suspension for Schafer in the last 10 years.

Schafer’s postgame comments after Saturday’s game expressed his displeasure for Pecknold. The comments came after the two appeared to exchange words during the postgame handshake line. Moments later, players from both teams began exchanging words and Quinnipiac’s Dan Federico and Cornell’s Joel Lowry each received 10-minute misconduct penalties.

Schafer opened his postgame interview by saying, “I guess my first comment is I want to make it loud and clear that what their coach did… was a f****** classless a**hole.”

Schafer added, “… kid gets hit head first into the boards, and he’s calling for embellishment. The same kid that broke his neck and he’s calling for embellishment.”

He was referring to a hit from behind by Matt Peca on Cole Bardreau just more than five minutes into the second period. Peca received a five-minute major and game misconduct for the hit.

Bardreau was not injured and remained in the game, but he did suffer a season-ending, and nearly career-ending broken neck from a hit from behind in 2013.

Schafer then referred to Pecknold running up the score during Quinnipiac’s 10-0 win over Cornell in game two of the 2013 ECAC Quarterfinals.

In that game, the Bobcats led 5-0 just a little more than six minutes into the second period. Schafer then pulled starting goaltender Andy Iles in favor of backup freshman Omar Kanji. Quinnipiac then scored four goals on just ten shots during the remainder of the period and lead 9-0 entering the third.

Schafer reinserted Iles into the game for the final period, where he allowed one more tally to give Quinnipiac the 10-0 lead. The appearance was just the second of Kanji’s career and the first time he saw shots-on-goal in a non-exhibition contest.

Schafer’s full comments were posted by the Quinnipiac Bobcats Sports Network and can be heard here.

USCHO.com first reported the suspension via Twitter after Malafronte reported Monday afternoon the league was reviewing the incident.

The Bobcats and Big Red will square off again on Friday, Feb. 6 at Lynah Rink.

***UPDATE*** 7:30 p.m. Monday

Shafer issued a statement regarding the events.

“I’d like to apologize for using profane language in my postgame comments on Saturday evening following our contest against Quinnipiac. My language was unnecessary, and I did not represent Cornell and our hockey program in a first-class manner.

“Cole Bardreau, who had previously suffered a serious neck injury, was run into the boards from behind in the game,” Schafer added.
“Cole’s status continues to be evaluated, but the hit on Saturday may force him to miss future games. I was angry that there was no recognition of the seriousness of the play and let my emotions get the best of me after the contest.  The safety of student-athletes is paramount to me. I have apologized to Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold for my comments.”


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