Parco suspension clarified

Randy Russon
April 26, 2019

Factions loyal to John Parco and the Soo Thunderbirds have been critical of Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League commissioner Robert Mazzuca for a suspension that sidelined the Soo coach for Games 6 and 7 of the championship series against the Hearst Lumberjacks.

A number of e-mails sent to Hockey News North by supporters of the Thunderbirds noted that Mazzuca “over-reacted” and showed “poor and biased judgement” by suspending Parco for Games 6 and 7 of the series, which Hearst eventually won.

Well, it turns out that Mazzuca, as NOJHL commissioner, had absolutely no say in the automatic suspension, which came as the result of Parco being issued a GM62 by referee Darren Corcoran at the 20:00 minute mark of the third period of Game 5, which was played in Sault Ste. Marie and won by the Thunderbirds.

According to the 2018-2019 Ontario Hockey Federation “minimum suspension list” which applies to both the NOJHL and the Ontario Jr. Hockey League, the automatic penalty imposed on a coach receiving a GM62 is clearly stated.

And that is, players leaving the bench without clearance from the referee shall result in a two-game suspension being assessed to the coach.

In other words, when Parco was assessed the GM62 at the conclusion of Game 5 of the championship series — the infraction appears on the NOJHL Official Game Report — the two-game suspension became automatic under the Ontario Hockey Federation rule book.

Case closed.

PHOTO: Soo Thunderbirds head coach John Parco.

What you think about “Parco suspension clarified”

  1. It would not have made any difference if he was behind the bench anyway .the jacks out played the t birds no matter who was behind the bench . T birds gave it all they could but came out short .

  2. I agree. I saw the T-Birds play and any team in the top 4 of the Eastern Division NOJHL would shred these guys. The League talent is kind of slanted towards the East. I have watched the T-Birds fly through the regular season, while playing their usual opponents. When they played the rinks along Hwy. 11 they were not up to their “top ten (or twenty)” rating. Add the scheduling that gives them an Eastern team who have just played two games already and tenderized for their Sunday afternoon tilt. The T-Birds have it too easy. The short part of this is, Coach John Parco would not have won this game. His team, as good as they are would have gained by playing more games against better teams than they do and there are many who will give them a good night out up here along the Gold Belt.

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