League suspends Trail’s top scorer

The Trail Smoke Eaters leading goal scorer, Charlie Zuccarini, is gone for the season.

The Trail Smoke Eaters leading goal scorer, Charlie Zuccarini, is gone for the season.

The BCHL came down hard on the 20-year-old Trail forward after receiving a match penalty for abuse of an official in a game against the Coquitlam Express last week in Coquitlam.

Video shows a frustrated Zuccarini making contact with the arm of referee Kirk Wood with his stick, after the referee got in the way of Zuccarini while making a play.

The Connecticut import was one of Trail’s most dynamic players this season, netting 27 goals and 30 assists in 45 games, good for seventh in league scoring.

“It is a big blow to our organization to lose a player like Charlie for the remainder of the season,” said Smoke Eater coach and GM Nick Deschenes in a release. “I can’t comment on the severity of the suspension only to say that any physical abuse of officials in the BCHL is not tolerated. Hockey is a fast and intense game and in the heat of the moment players do things they regret. I believe this is one of those situations.”

In a hearing with BCHL officials, Zuccarini, and representatives of the Trail Smoke Eaters on Wednesday, league president John Grisdale said the abuse of an official, whether verbal or physical, is unacceptable and not tolerated in the BCHL.