Ice hockey player sacked following fan punch

An ice hockey player in the United Kingdom's Elite League has been sacked by the Milton Keynes Lightning after abusing a match official and punching a spectator.

Matt Nickerson received a 20-match ban following a ruling from the league's Department of Player Safety (DOPS) as a result of the incidents in Sunday's contest against Guildford Flames.

And the Lightning have now confirmed that Nickerson's "unacceptable" behaviour has led to his dismissal.

A statement from the team read: "Following an incident in Guildford on Sunday and the subsequent DOPS report, The Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning and Matt Nickerson have parted company with immediate effect.

"Ice Hockey is a family sport and it is unacceptable that at any time supporters are threatened or made to feel unsafe.

"As a club we do not condone what happened and Matt has been held accountable for his actions by both the Elite League Department of Player Safety and by the club.

"Milton Keynes Lightning takes the safety of their players, opposing players and most importantly the spectators very seriously, and the League need to ensure that all member clubs are compliant in their player and spectator safety procedures."

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