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Police investigate after hockey player punches referee at Foxborough rink

Police are investigating and reviewing video after a player in the US Premier Hockey League punched a referee during a game over the weekend at the Foxboro Sports Center, officials said Monday.

The amateur league announced that the player has been banned for life.

Spectators gasped in unison when the player coldcocked the official in the face, knocking him to the ice, according to video of the incident posted on social media.

Police were called to the center Sunday after it was reported that an adult hockey player struck a referee, Foxborough Police Chief Michael Grace said in a press release. Investigators are interviewing the involved parties, as well as reviewing video of the incident, Grace said.


“The investigation is ongoing and if it is determined that there is a crime element then the matter will be sent to Wrentham District Court,” Grace said.

No other details about the altercation were released by police.

The South Shore Kings, a junior hockey team featuring players ages 16-20 who are hoping to play college hockey, were taking on a team from Pennsylvania, WCVB-TV reported.

USPHL Commissioner Bob Turow had harsh words for the player.

“The action taken today by a USPHL player is completely unacceptable in the USPHL,” he said in a statement. “The USPHL has zero tolerance for any player striking any official, at any time.”

“The player in question’s actions have led to a lifetime ban,” Turow said. “The incident is currently being investigated by local authorities and as such the USPHL will have no further comments at this time.”

After being kicked out of the game, the player circled back toward the referee and punched him.

“It all happened really quick,” spectator Frank Jurgens told WHDH-TV. “The player just snapped and punched him in the face as hard as he could and knocked him over.”


As the referee got up, teammates escorted the player who hit the official off the ice.

Tonya Alanez can be reached at tonya.alanez@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @talanez.