The Latvian Hawks team has accepted an Irish Ice Hockey Association to return to league and championship play, ending a two-month-long row over rules and refereeing, a team spokesman said Jan. 7.
The Hawks’ “A” team quit the championship round of the Irish Hockey League after the association on Dec. 5 determined the team had infringed on league rules by bringing in players from Latvia for a Nov. 11 game against the Belfast City Bruins. The association reversed the game result, handing a victory to the Bruins.
The Hawks then announced the team was quitting the league as well. The announcement came in the third period of a Dec. 8 game against the Dublin Rams, which the Latvians claimed saw incompetent and discriminatory refereeing.
In response, the hockey association’s executive suspended the Hawks from league play pending an investigation by the IIHA Disciplinary Committee.
“We considered the federation’s request to return and decided that at the moment this would be beneficial to the team,” team manager Janeks Oberts said in a press release.
The team’s next game is scheduled at 16:30 hours Jan. 13 against the Dublin Flyers. The game will be played in the Dundalk Ice Dome, Dundalk Retail Park, Dundalk. Several new players, including a new goaltender, are to be added to the roster, a team spokesman said.
The Irish Hockey League includes four other teams besides the Hawks: the Dundalk Bulls, the Dublin Rams, the Dublin Flyers and the Belfast City Bruins. The Latvian Hawks are in last place.
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