Ryan Munce will never forget his 2002-03 rookie season in the Ontario Hockey League, standing straight in the Sarnia Sting net for 27 regular season matches as a backup to No. 1 goalkeeper Robert Gherson.
He remembers, as a 17-year-old player, posting a star of 2.64 goals-on average, three shutouts and 0.916 saving percentages. He also remembers holding back what he described as an act of abuse, and watching them fight his teammates, by players who are older than the junior team.
In an interview with CBC News on Tuesday, Munce spoke of being beaten and hit on the head by paddling his goalkeeper in Sting's dressing room, while fellow rookies were tied to the table and beaten with belts and other items.
"I have more suicidal thoughts than anything else," he told reporter Ioanna Roumeliotis National. "This should be your friend; they are like your family."
Watch Ryan Munce the details of the abuse he alleged he suffered in junior hockey:
Munce's comments followed Sting's former teammate Daniel Carcillo, who detailed his hazing experience with the club in a 15-post narrative on Twitter last weekend behind accusations of assault and recent sexual assault at St. High School. Michael in Toronto.
Thrown around by hair
Munce, now 33, said he witnessed some harassment committed at Carcillo.
"There are a lot of incidents that are somewhat the next level," Munce said.
Other suspected incidents include:
- A Jewish team mate who was moved to tears by his teammate as Adolf Hitler.
- A player is forced to put his penis on the A535 RUB, hot cream of muscles and joints.
Munce said he was happy that Carcillo was progressing – in stark contrast to his teenage years, when players in the "hockey community" should be silent.
Watch former NHLer Daniel Carcillo explain loneliness abuse:
"The whole type of rowing starts with me," said Munce, who operates New Age Goaltending, a school for beginner beginners, in Burlington, Ontario.
Munce said Sting's teammate approached his makeup stand and told him that a six-meter and 150-pound site bent his knees. He slapped Munce "like a child" and then beat him and other teammates with sawed oars.
Hide behind the couch
"If you flinch," he said, "they have to do it again. This is before and after the match."
Munce added he was beaten with the same paddle at a rookie party because he did not drink alcohol, and spent the rest of the night hiding from veteran players behind the sofa.
Munce said he and Carcillo often discussed abuse at the last billet home, broke down in front of each other, and then shared their experiences with Canadian U-18 squad teammates.
Watch Carcillo talking about alleged abuse:
"The day of constant harassment, out of the day," said Munce, who was recruited by the Los Angeles Kings in 2003 but never played in the NHL. He spent two more seasons at Sarnia before embarking on a six-year journey through a minor pro ranking which included 13 matches in the American Hockey League before retiring in 2012.
Carcillo told Canadian Press on Monday that Jeff Perry, Sarnia's head coach in 2002-03, was aware of the alleged treatment that he and other rookies were targeted by their veteran teammates. Perry denied that earlier this week for Blackburn News in Sarnia.
"There are certain areas of changing rooms that we don't monitor," said Perry, 47, who played at OHL for Guelph and Owen Sound in the late 1980s.
"It's no different than taking a bus – I know people think you're on a bus, how can you not realize it? When you sit in front of a bus, you have a movie. Unless you are already in that situation, you [wouldn’t] understand that they are easy things that you won't realize if it doesn't interest you. "
CBC Sports has contacted Perry for further comments.
The Hockey Culture has changed, said the former Sting coach
In a statement sent by email to Blackburn News, OHL said it had adopted a zero tolerance approach to hazing, and had implemented policies to prevent hazing or suppression for several years.
Perry, who was fired at Sting in late 2003 amid controversy over benching star players including Carcillo, said the current culture at OHL had changed.
"That doesn't make it right [what allegedly happened in 2002-03] but I think we are far more educated about harassment and intimidation in general, "he said." They have done a good job by doing the right thing.
"I have a teenager who has just learned junior hockey, and I'm grateful he doesn't have to share this same story, because he didn't experience such a situation."