Canada’s Maxime Comtois (14) bumps into Russia goalie Pyotr Kochetkov (20) after the puck deflected wide of the goal while Russia’s Alexander Romanov, left, defends during second period IIHF world junior hockey championship action in Vancouver on Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

World junior Team Canada hockey captain targeted with online harassment

Maxime Comtois was on the receiving end of ‘anti-francophone racism’ following the team’s loss at the World Junior Championships

A Quebec politician says Instagram insults against Canadian world junior hockey team captain Maxime Comtois are ”anti-francophone racism.”

Parti Quebecois interim leader Pascal Berube used Twitter to share his feelings after Comtois was hit hard with criticism after missing on a penalty shot during overtime in a 2-1 loss to Finland in the world junior championship quarterfinals Wednesday.

Several comments pointed out that the 19-year-old Comtois, a native of Longueuil, Que., is French.

Commenting was disabled on recent pictures overnight, but some comments still remained Thursday morning.

Instagram user @snacc_hyman wrote “The captain of the Canadian hockey team shouldn’t dive like an Italian soccer player and come up with such a pathetic attempt on an overtime penalty shot.”

After the barrage of criticism, several users posted messages of support for Comtois.

User @lordstanleypff wrote “He doesn’t deserve the hate or anything negative. He’s a junior for God’s sake. He did everything to represent HIS country.”

The Roy Sports Group, which represents Comtois, put out a statement on Thursday afternoon.

READ MORE: McDavid told Canada’s junior team to avoid social media

“It is shameful and incomprehensible that a few cowards who can hide behind social media could make such vicious attacks on these young men’s character after they have battled their hearts out for their country,” the statement reads.

“We will make this one and only statement on this subject, so not to validate anymore the cowardly comments made on social media. It was Maxime’s idea to use this as a learning moment for all of the youth of Canada, that cyber bullying is a real problem, and like all bullies, we all need to stand up to them and call them out for what they are. Thank you for shedding a spotlight on a major problem in our society.”

Hockey Canada CEO Tom Renney said the organization trusts players’ judgment when it comes to social media.

“At the end of the day, we support how they feel about it and how they chose to depict what it is they wish to chronicle,” he said Thursday.

“There’s a method by which you can protect yourself and each other by that. At the same time, we understand this is a day and age where you can communicate quickly through social media. We just want to make sure everyone shows good judgment.”

WATCH: Canada’s world junior elimination is ‘tough:’ Coach

After Wednesday night’s game, the Canadian players were given time to visit with their families before they went back to the hotel for pizza and ping pong, Renney said.

Hockey Canada did not contact law enforcement about the comments, he added.

Head coach Tim Hunter picked Comtois to take the penalty shot. Finnish goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stretched his right pad to block the low shot.

“I was thinking to score and I didn’t,” Comtois said. “I was going with my move and trying to shoot. It’s not the first one that I missed and it’s not going to be the last one. It has to hurt, but if I get one more chance later in my career, I have to be ready and dig in to get it in.

“We had a couple guys practising this type of situation in practice. I was one of them. It could have been anyone on the team. I was confident with my move and it didn’t work.”

The loss for Canada means the country will not play for a world junior medal for only the second time in 21 years.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

T.W. Paterson column: ‘Dull’ Lubbe Lake belies its colourful namesake

“Brilliant scholar” and engineering graduate of Cornell University, was said to be no one’s fool.

Robert scores two as Caps double up Nanaimo

Cowichan knocks off Island rivals 4-2 on Friday night

International Guitar Night back in Duncan for incredible night of guitar showmanship

Guitarists celebrate 19 years of touring by returning to Cowichan

Former Chargers helping VIU teams to successful seasons

Groenendijk sisters team up with undefeated Mariners

Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

Coming up in Cowichan: Anti-pipeline meeting; women’s shelter open house

Public meeting in Duncan to support pipeline protests A public meeting has… Continue reading

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Most Read