BOSTON (CBS) – The Lynn mother who became an online sensation for running out onto the ice during a hockey brawl is now telling her story.
When a fight broke out among teen players during a game at the New England Sports Center in Marlboro on June 1st, Gina O’Toole took matters into her own hands.
The entire incident was captured on video and posted on YouTube. It now has more than 285,000 views.
Carrying her purse in one hand, Gina opened the gate to the rink, stepped out onto the ice and yelled at the referees.
She told WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields Monday that she did it because they were not doing enough to stop a fight.
O’Toole said she waited 15-to-20 seconds for the referees to do something, but it just got worse.
“I reacted and before I knew it I was opening the gate, I was walking on the ice,” says O’Toole. “He (the referee) told me to get off the ice, and I told him you need to do your job.”
Paul Stewart, a former NHL ref who now oversees officiating for five amateur leagues, says he has no patience for parents like Gina O’Toole.
“Absolutely wrong, stay off the ice,” says Stewart. “I would have had her arrested.”
Stewart argues that a zero tolerance policy for fan interference should at least banish O’Toole from the rink where she gave one ref a scolding.
Stewart defended the ref, saying he did a fine job. “He grabbed the hot spot that appeared to be the one that needed to be quenched first,” says Stewart. “I think he did a good job on that.”
Stewart admits the second ref, standing along the nearby boards, was too passive.
“I don’t agree with that, especially with youth hockey I think you step in,” he says.
He says parents should take their problems to the proper governing boards after the game and stay off the ice.
Gina’s 16-year-old son Mark, who was involved in the fight, said his mother did the right thing.
“It wasn’t that embarrassing no,” says Mark. “Everyone else kind of liked it.”