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CHL Responds to Odessa/Colorado Preseason Brawl

October 14, 2010 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Odessa Jackalopes News Release

LEAGUE RELEASE - The Central Hockey League (CHL) announced today the penalties as a result of the actions in Saturday's Colorado Eagles/Odessa Jackalopes preseason game in Loveland, Colorado. The game resulted in a 1-0 forfeit win for Colorado after Odessa failed to complete the game in the third period.

As a result of failing to complete the game, the Odessa Jackalopes organization has been fined an undisclosed amount of money, all of which will be donated on behalf of the Colorado Eagles and the Odessa Jackalopes to the Wilbur's Fund for Women with Breast Cancer in Northern Colorado. Additionally, Odessa head coach Paul Gillis has been suspended three (3) games, to be served during the Jackalopes first three games of the regular season and the Odessa organization has been fined an undisclosed amount of money for public comments and incidents during the game.

For their part in Saturday's events, the Colorado Eagles organization has been fined an undisclosed amount of money for the multiple altercations at the end of the uncompleted game and acting coach for that game, Greg Pankewicz (the team's assistant coach) has been suspended three (3) games, to be served during the Eagles three regular season visits to Odessa.

Colorado forward Brad MacMillan has been suspended 22 games for his match penalty for attempting to injure a player.

Colorado defenseman George Bradley has been suspended five (5) games for his actions during an altercation and has been fined an undisclosed amount of money for the same infraction.

Colorado defenseman Mario Joly has been suspended four (4) games for leaving the players bench.

In response the league's actions and Saturday night's event, the Odessa Jackalopes and Colorado Eagles have also issued a joint statement addressing the game:

Dear Fans,

On the behalf of the Central Hockey League, both the Odessa Jackalopes and Colorado Eagles would like to say thank You for attending last Saturday night's game at the Budweiser Events Center. It was unfortunate the way this event unfolded. Regretfully, the emotions became very elevated during our preseason contest and an outstanding player was injured. While we cannot change the past, we can only more forward and learn from this incident. From the front office, to the coaches, to the players, the game of hockey has always been a physical, emotional, and passionate sport. We are happy to announce that the money from the fines that were collected by the CHL from both organizations will be donated to the fight against breast cancer that the Eagles were supporting during that Saturday night game.

We are happy to announce that the money from the fines that were collected by the CHL from both organizations will be donated to the fight against breast cancer that the Eagles were supporting during Saturday night's game.

Odessa Jackalopes co-owner, Rick Gasser, was the one who made the decision for the Odessa players to leave the ice and forfeit the contest. Not head coach Paul Gillis. Rick and the Jackalopes organization apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused to the passionate fans of Northern Colorado. The Jackalopes want to thank the staff at the Budweiser Events Center for handling Saturday's events and getting Dave Van Drunen to the hospital carefully and quickly. The treatment he, and all of us, received by the staff at the Medical Center of the Rockies was first class. Dave is at home with his wife and children, he is in good spirits, and he is looking forward to returning to the ice this season. The Jackalopes would also like to thank the Eagles fans that took the time to send their well wishes to Dave, his family, and the Jackalopes organization.

"I want the Eagles and the Jackalopes to move forward and prepare for our seasons. We look forward to coming back to the BEC December 10th and 11th to showcase our hockey team in front of your sold out building. Please do not let the emotions of one night keep anyone away from our game. Please continue to support the Eagles and the Jackalopes this season. Thank you to the Eagles for their hospitality during training camp."

--Rick Gasser

The Eagles have worked hard since their inception to develop a culture of professional, entertaining, and winning hockey. The Eagles would like thank the Odessa Jackalopes for their understanding, and their work to move on from this situation to the start of the new season. For the players of every team, preseason games are a chance to make an impression and earn jobs playing professional hockey. Unfortunately on Saturday, the physicality and emotion of making those impressions took a turn that no one could have predicted. Once again the Colorado Eagles regret what happened over the weekend and wish Dave Van Drunen a full recovery.

"Rick is the exact DNA of an owner that loves and protects his players just as we love and protect our Colorado Eagles. Rick and I have moved on with the utmost respect for each others organization just as our great fans would expect and deserve. We are looking forward to welcoming the Jackalopes back to Northern Colorado to continue the fun, competitive contests we've had played over the last few years."

--Martin Lind

After discussing this matter with the CHL and the Colorado Eagles, the Odessa Jackalopes have agreed to withdraw their request for any criminal charges to be placed against any Eagles' personnel.

Both the Jackalopes and the Eagles are ready to move forward from this event, and we invite the fans of the CHL to move forward with us. The 2010-11 season should be an exciting time for everyone with all the new changes that have occurred throughout the Central Hockey League. Good luck to everyone this season, and we hope that all the teams around the hockey world can learn from the mistakes that were made on Saturday night.

Sincerely,

Rick Gasser

Odessa Jackalopes

Martin Lind

Colorado Eagles

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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