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Hockey Acadia appealing hockey coach’s suspension after brawl with St. Francis Xavier

Acadia University is joining St. Francis Xavier University in appealing a 10-game suspension handed to its men’s hockey coach in the aftermath of an ugly brawl.

Kevin Dickie, executive director, athletics and community events at Acadia, said during a game broadcast on Wednesday night that his school will appeal the suspension to Darren Burns.

The X-Men announced their intention to do the same thing for head coach Brad Peddle prior to Game 1 of a best-three playoff series between St. Francis Xavier and Acadia on Wednesday.

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Atlantic University Sport issued eight-game suspensions to Peddle and Burns on Tuesday for their actions during a Feb. 2 brawl that spread from the ice to both squads’ benches. The coaches previously received automatic two-game suspensions. The coaches were hardest hit in terms of number of games.

Acadia forward Rodney Southam has taken responsibility for the comments that led to the bench-clearing brawl. He had told Sam Studnicka of St. FX he “looked like a rapist,” which prompted the melee. Southam later issued a statement saying he was unaware that Studnicka has a sexual assault survivor in his family.

The St. FX statement alleges Studnicka has received other abuse in the past.

Automatic suspensions for a total of 39 games and an additional 36 games of suspensions have been handed out by the conference.

Videos posted to social media show players on both teams hurling profanities, striking each other and grabbing each other’s jerseys near the Acadia bench during the brawl.

St. FX won Game 1 of the playoff series 5-0 on Wednesday night. There was one fight during the third period, resulting in 50 minutes of penalties.

Game 2 is Friday at Acadia.

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