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Hockey coach charged with two counts of assault

A hockey coach who was videotaped tripping up a pair of players on a Richmond minor hockey team following a championship game at University of B.C. in June, has now been charged with two counts of assault.

Martin Joseph George Tremblay, 48, was charged on Aug. 28 and is scheduled to appear in Richmond provincial court on Sept. 13, B.C. provincial Crown spokesperson Neil Mackenzie said Wednesday morning.

News of the charges against Tremblay were welcomed by Tammy Hohlweg, volunteer team manager for the Richmond Steel, an Atom and Peewee team comprising 10- to 13-year-old boys.

Hohlweg said at least one parent was worried something might happen prior to the incident, and asked that another parent who had exclusively been taking snapshots of the game instead record video of the traditional hand-shaking at the end of the game.

Tremblay was coaching the UBC Hornets, who won the final 5-4. She noted Tremblay was quite vocal in directing his players while they were on the ice.

“It was a good game,” said Hohlweg of the final game in the four or five-team league that was playing at UBC. “Everybody was excited, everybody wanted to win, and there were not a lot of penalties on the ice.”

But she said one of the parents “sensed something might happen.”

Asked what it was that signaled the concerned parent, Hohlweg said: “I guess the body language of the coach.”

In the video, which was posted to YouTube and has since been viewed more than two million times in varying forms, the coach is seen lining up to shake hands, and then sticking out his foot and tripping two of the opposing team's players, sending them tumbling to the ice.

Afterward, he points his finger at the taller of two players who fell.

Hohlweg said the coach had been yelling at the taller player prior to the trip, and appeared to be targeting him alone, with the second smaller player being caught up in what happened.

The taller boy, 13, got up immediately after falling to the ice, and Hohlweg said she quickly grabbed all the Richmond Steel players and ushered them off the ice and into the dressing room.

One of the coaches said he thought the taller player had broken his wrist, which it turned out he had.

Within about 15 minutes after the incident, the RCMP were at the scene, and Tremblay was eventually handcuffed and arrested.

“It does provide some closure,” Hohlweg said of news of this week’s charges against Tremblay.

The lesson to be learned, she said, is to “think before we act, because if we don’t, look at what happened. Somebody could have a camera.”

Many of the Richmond Steel players were initially unaware of the incident because it happened behind them, as the taller player was toward the end of the line.

The injured player wore a cast for six weeks.

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