V-Reds launch appeal to AUS for Critchlow suspension.

Photo courtesy of Brian Smith, UNB Varsity Reds
Photo Photo courtesy of Brian Smith, UNB Varsity Reds

UPDATE, MARCH 11th, 1:25pm: Atlantic University Sport executive director Phil Currie has informed the Brunswickan that the Judicial Committee reviewing the suspension appeal has proposed a hearing with the Varsity Reds for Wednesday, March 13th, at 4:30 p.m. Currie also told the Brunswickan that the third member of the committee is Dr. Tim Hynes, Director of the Ron Joyce Centre for Business Studies at Mount Allison University.

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds have appealed the suspension handed down by Atlantic University Sport to forward Cam Critchlow.

Critchlow was served five games for a hit on Saint Mary’s Huskies defenseman Patrick O’Keefe in game one of the Subway AUS finals.

If the suspension is upheld, it would see Critchlow – who’s tallied two goals and an assist in four playoff games – sit the entire University Cup championship this week in Saskatoon, SK.

No penalty was called on the play and therefore the Huskies sent the video footage to the AUS for review. AUS executive director Phil Currie reviewed the play and ruled on the suspension last Tuesday.

UNB athletic director John Richard submitted the appeal just after midnight last night and said he hopes the appeal will see Critchlow play in the national championships.

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“We feel the appeal shows that the severity of the suspension, considering it involves games in the AUS finals and the CIS nationals, doesn’t match the incident and isn’t consistent with other decisions made this season,” said Richard. “We respect and concede that the unfortunate incident needed some sort of discipline, we just don’t agree with the level assigned to Mr. Critchlow.”

According to Currie, the appeal will now be reviewed by a committee led by Halifax-based lawyer Ron MacDonald. Université de Moncton athletic director Marc Boudreau is also on the committee, and will select a third member to join he and MacDonald.

Because the incident is now in the appeal process Currie wouldn’t comment on what led him to the decision to suspend Critchlow for five games.

“Considering this is now an appeal I can’t speak to that,” Currie said. “The only thing I can say is what I did see in the video led me to the five games.”

While UNB had 96 hours from the time they received notice of the suspension to appeal it, Currie said there’s no timeframe for how long the ruling on the appeal will take.

Meanwhile O’Keefe hasn’t played since the incident and according to SMU officials he sustained neck injury on the hit.

Head coach Trevor Steinberg said O’Keefe underwent an MRI yesterday at 4 p.m., and didn’t practice with the team this weekend. O’Keefe was tied for third in scoring among AUS defensemen in the regular season with three goals and 17 assists.

“First and most importantly, as we stated right away last Tuesday, we hope to see Mr. Patrick O’Keefe back on the ice very soon,” reaffirmed Richard.

The V-Reds are set to fly out to Saskatoon early Monday morning.